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Stabenow: ‘To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense.’

stabenowjobs1.JPG

Debbie Stabenow is the junior senator from Michigan, and one of the Senate's loudest voices on extending jobless benefits. We spoke this afternoon about last night's defeat of the unemployment insurance extension, why deficit spending is appropriate during a recession, and why the Democrats may not have a budget this year. An edited transcript of our conversation follows.

Let’s start with the disagreement between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans don’t oppose extending unemployment benefits, they say. They oppose paying for them through deficit spending. Why are they wrong about this? Why not just pay for the bill?

Well, first of all, unemployment extensions have never, under a Democratic or Republican president, been funded other than through emergency spending [which is a technical designation that allows for deficit spending -- Ezra]. I’ve said it 100 times: if 15 million people out of work isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is. The second issue is that in order to get the stimulative effect out of it, the spending needs to be done on the deficit. Economists will tell you that. And third, Republicans want to pay for it from taking money away from the recovery dollars. Those are dollars being used to create jobs in construction and manufacturing incentives and alternative energy. To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense.

Republicans I’ve spoken to say they don’t believe those stimulus dollars are effective. In negotiations, do they propose a different recovery plan?

Republicans would say that you grow the economy through supply-side tax cuts. They don’t think you should pay for a large estate tax cut, for instance. Extending the Bush tax cuts should not be paid for. I had this conversation with Sen. Grassley last night. To him, the Bush tax cuts are stimulative and should not be paid for. But when it comes to working men and women, working-class people who’ve been hit in this recession through no fault of their own, the rules are different. And I’d say we have to focus on the job crisis to tackle the deficit crisis. We’ll never get out of deficit with over 15 million people not working.

In a few months, the Senate will have to decide whether to extend the Bush tax cuts at a cost to the deficit that will dwarf the unemployment insurance extension by many orders of magnitude. Republicans can’t do it on their own, but observers seem to think Democrats will partner with them to get it done. If the deficit is such a big issue for the people in the middle, how can that happen?

First, we won’t extend them in total, no. It’s the middle-class tax cuts that might be extended. There is an argument that when we look at things like the 10 percent tax rate for working families or the middle-class income tax cuts or the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit, that those at least are going to the Americans who are consuming, spending and creating economic activity. But you raise a fair point. Will this deficit argument apply to everything? Or just policies for working men and women?

The Senate has been forced to consider these unemployment benefit extensions every few months because it has only passed extensions for a few months at a time. Why has the time-frame for these extensions been so short?

We’re doing it as long as we can and still get the votes. This particular extension goes through November 30th rather than December 30th, which makes no logical sense other than that that’s how much people were willing to vote for. I would argue that this should definitely be done on a yearly basis.

It’s safe to say, I think, that Democrats will return from the midterm elections with fewer seats in the Senate. That will make passing legislation even more difficult. But so far as I know, there’s no effort moving forward to include reconciliation instructions allowing Democrats to pass jobs bills with 51 votes. Why not?

I’ll put my budget committee hat on now. It was our intent in a budget resolution to include those instructions. And we passed such a resolution out of committee. The question is we have a technical issue now. If we don’t do a budget resolution, if we use another approach to set spending limits, that raises a question as to whether reconciliation will be available.

Maybe you can explain this to me, as I’ve been slightly confused: What’s the hold-up on a budget resolution?

We passed a bill out of committee in April or May. We were ready to go. There were problems in the House. This was actually more about the House. They had disagreements. And then it got complicated with what’s happened in the Senate, as there’s so much slowdown. No one thought we’d spend eight weeks in this jobs bill. We had intended to bring a budget resolution up. And the strategy of the Republicans is to slow walk everything to stop us from getting things done and create as much chaos as possible.

Expand on that argument for me: People tend to think that the issue with the filibuster is that it requires a supermajority to break. But when I speak to senators, they talk more about its tendency to slow the functioning the chamber.

In the case of this jobs bill, there were negotiations going on for eight weeks. We had three different votes on filibusters. In between, we were working, trying to get more votes by changing the bill. And this is why Reid’s job is so difficult. It takes a week to a vote on a filibuster. You file a petition, then you have to stop and do nothing for two days. Then you vote on stopping the filibuster. Then you have to wait 30 hours before you can substantively pick up whatever it was you were filibustering. Every time they object, it takes a week. We’ve now had 244 objections with 80 or so actual filibusters, and we don’t have 244 weeks to do this. When they object to a nominee, if we’re going to overcome that and get that nominee confirmed, that will take a week. And that’s why they’ve objected to over 100 nominees. We don’t have 100 weeks. Every time there’s an objection, Sen. Reid has to determine if he has the potential to get 60 votes, if this is enough of a priority to take a week on it. He has very complicated decisions to make on these things.

Photo credit: By Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

By Ezra Klein  |  July 1, 2010; 1:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

"To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense"

I have to agree. It also strikes me as an admission that unemployment benefits, though useful, have no economically stimulative effect, and are mostly ameliorative. That is, they keep the recipient's head above water (somewhat) but do very little in aggregate for the larger economy.

Because if they did, then they would be providing an economic stimulus, and it would make sense to "take money from job creation". But there is no evidence that indefinite extension of unemployment benefits has much of an economically stimulative effect, that I know of.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | July 1, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense."

It does according to this chart:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/good_stimulus_bad_stimulus.html

Posted by: jnc4p | July 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"In the case of this jobs bill, there were negotiations going on for eight weeks. We had three different votes on filibusters. In between, we were working, trying to get more votes by changing the bill. And this is why Reid’s job is so difficult. It takes a week to a vote on a filibuster. You file a petition, then you have to stop and do nothing for two days. Then you vote on stopping the filibuster. Then you have to wait 30 hours before you can substantively pick up whatever it was you were filibustering. Every time they object, it takes a week. We’ve now had 244 objections with 80 or so actual filibusters, and we don’t have 244 weeks to do this. When they object to a nominee, if we’re going to overcome that and get that nominee confirmed, that will take a week. And that’s why they’ve objected to over 100 nominees. We don’t have 100 weeks. Every time there’s an objection, Sen. Reid has to determine if he has the potential to get 60 votes, if this is enough of a priority to take a week on it. He has very complicated decisions to make on these things."

I developed a headache just reading this. It is time for this preposterous Senate rule to come to an end. Whatever little value it might have once held in the past is gone.

Posted by: Patrick_M | July 1, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

congressmen explaining themselves always sound like children trying to tell a lie.

Posted by: VMzJxah | July 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Stabenow's point is that we should be doing both

Posted by: lol-lol | July 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense."

Yes it does, when the money will stimulate the economy, which will then save additional jobs.

To spend stimulus money to fund bailouts for political backers, which does nothing to create jobs makes no sense.

To let stimulus money sit there instead of using it for job creation OR to pay UI and stimulate the economy makes no sense - but that is what is happening now.

Posted by: Sara15 | July 1, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree with Stabenow with the stimulus was actually creating jobs. 12.4% unemployment in CA. The stimulus is working?

Posted by: louisp3 | July 1, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense"

That statement is not at all an admission that unemployment benefits, have no economically stimulative effect. Each should be considered separately on its own merits. Further this blog has considered exactly that a lot lately and provided evidence that unemployment benefits are very stimulative. You might disagree, but evidence has been presented.

On a different note, Stabenow is appealing in this interview but that last paragraph makes me physically ill. I thought I was a moderate but am strongly considering becoming a wild-eyed fanatic liberal.

Posted by: BHeffernan1 | July 1, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree with Stabenow with the stimulus was actually creating jobs. 12.4% unemployment in CA. The stimulus is working?

Posted by: louisp3 | July 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"12.4% unemployment in CA. The stimulus is working?"

Yes, unless you would have preferred a rate higher than your current 12.4%

Posted by: Patrick_M | July 1, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

AFTER VOTING FOR AND SUPPORTING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR 38 YEARS, I FIND MYSELF APPALLED AT THE LEVEL OF SELFISHNESS OF THE (REPUBLICAN) SENATE'S FAILURE TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

I HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED SINCE NOVEMBER 2009 AND AM UNABLE TO FIND WORK. YES, OF COURSE, I HAVE A FAMILY TO FEED. NO, I DON'T SIT AROUND THE HOUSE SMOKING CAMELS AND DRINKING ALL DAY. I MEAN WHY SHOULD I WASTE THAT HUGE $ 335 A WEEK CHECK I GET FOR UNEMPLOYMENT ON SUCH THINGS?

IT WILL SOON BE THE 4TH OF JULY AND I, LIKE SO MANY AMERICANS HAVE RUN OUT OF MONEY. SO, WHERE'S THE PARTY? OH, YES, THE REPUBLCAIN SENATE, WHO HAS WASTED MORE MONEY BAILING OUT THEIR BUDDIES AND PASSING UNLIMITED PORK, SUDDENLY HAS FOUND RELIGION. OH, NO, THEY DON'T WANT TO ADD ANYTHING TO THE DEFICIT--THEY CREATED IT AFTER ALL.

I SUPPOSE ALL WE CAN DO IS WAIT FOR THESE FAT CATS TO RETURN TO THE SENATE, GIVE THEM A DAY OR TWO TO RECOVER FROM THEIR STUPPORS AND HOPE SOMETHING PASSES.GOOD HAPPENS.

WE ARE ONLY 6 MONTHS AWAY FROM CHRISTMAS BUT JACOB MARLEY AND EBINEEZER SCROOGE CONTINUE TO PROSPER IN MY ONCE BELOVED REPUBLICAN PARTY.

WELL, SO MUCH FOR ALL THE BANTERING. NEXT NOVEMBER I WILL REMEMBER THAT STICKLAND, MY OHIO'S GOVERNOR UNDERSTANDS THAT WE NEED HELP. SENATOR VOINOVICH DOESN'T CARE. HE'S TOO BUSY MAKING VACATION AND PARTY PLANS FOR HIS FAMILY.

IT SEEMS THE REPUBLICANS WANT ME TO LOSE MY HOUSE AND GO TO DEBTOR'S PRISON. ISN'T THAT WHAT HAPPENED IN SCROOGE'S WORLD?

I PLAN TO VOTE ANYONE NOT SUPPORTING THE SO CALLED EXTENDER'S BILL OUT OF OFFICE. I'LLL BE FIRST IN LINE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS GETTING A LITTLE TOO COCKY AND CONFIDENT FOR ITS OWN GOOD.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY. PRAY FOR US. PRAY FOR A MIRACLE.

Posted by: oh9th | July 1, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, that's not how I read her statement. I took her to be saying that moving money from one stimulative effort to another doesn't make any sense because what you want to do is inject new money into the economy to stimulate it more. You want the job creation *and* the unemployment benefits.

Now, she doesn't get into the weeds on what actions taken by the government are more or less stimulative than others, and there's probably a good argument to be had with her there. Still, I think the larger point that "paying" for stimulus spending doesn't make much sense is a fairly solid point.

Posted by: MosBen | July 1, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

$700 billion for 12.4% unemployment? I got ripped off.

Posted by: louisp3 | July 1, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

$700 billion for 12.4% unemployment? I got ripped off.

Posted by: louisp3 | July 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"$700 billion for 12.4% unemployment? I got ripped off."

Yeah, you probably could have had 25% unemployment for free. Much better deal.

Posted by: Patrick_M | July 1, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@louisp3: "I'd agree with Stabenow with the stimulus was actually creating jobs. 12.4% unemployment in CA. The stimulus is working?"

Talk about non-sequitor. So does that mean that if an NHL goalie gave up six goals in a game that he automatically had a bad game?

Posted by: moronjim | July 1, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What, pray tell, do the republicans not object to funding with deficit spending? Ezra conveniently provided a large part of the answer here - http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/06/your_deficit_in_charts.html - But then, we all know the GOP gets a pass on deficits because they are "conservatives" after all.

Still, one wonders what prevents Democrats from bludgeoning their GOP colleagues with "charts," "facts," and "data" like the one Ezra put together (and collates on a regular basis). Yes, charts are a horrible buzz kill for non-wonks, but choosing a few facts and hammering them home can be effective.

Posted by: AttentionDeficit | July 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If we are out of money, maybe we should stop waging war.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Stabenow should organize a filibuster of the next farm welfare/bailout bill. All those GOPer Senators from farm states can just deal with Elmer Fudd having to finally work in the free enterprise system.

Posted by: Garak | July 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Two analogies, two models below: (two posts) Which do you think is a more accurate portrayal?

MODERN REPUBLICAN MODEL (I do not know the original source)
The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the hivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green...'

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten
rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful How you vote in 2010


1 of 2


Posted by: Kaybeth34 | July 1, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Next model: (my own model) (part 2 of 2)

The Ant, The Grasshopper and the Beetle. The ant works hard and comes winter he has food. The grasshopper doesn’t work and doesn’t have food. (maybe he can't work because he has a broken leg, maybe he is old, maybe he is too sick to work, maybe there is some other compelling reason he can't work, and just maybe he is lazy). The beetle also works hard but his field is more bare and he only has access to 1/400 of what the ant has access to during the summer. Not only that, but the ant is greedy and has been known to raid the Beetle’s field or even tell the Beetle I am not sure I will have enough so you must move to a barren field so I can even store more.

The ant survives..

The beetle works hard but barely enough to survive and he wants to prevent the ant from continuing not only taking from his field but it would behoove all if Beetles had the same access to the fields that the ants use. Then there would be plenty for everyone working.
The Beetle realizes it would make sense that if the ant worked 400 x harder he should have 400 x more. But he knows that’s not the case. The reason the ant is doing so well is he manipulated his way into this field. A field that 100 beetles could move in and have plenty for their winter (they are willing to work after all).

The ant thinks he is better than all and deserves more. He judges the poor. Just to keep the laws his way, he pays other insects to go to the insects that make law just to make sure things don’t change and he uses his cronies to bully and to back him up. His attitude says, I AM NOT SHARING. I DESERVE MORE.

As far as the grasshopper is concerned, he has no food, maybe he doesn’t deserve it but he is about to starve (do we let him starve, or have some compassion – after all there may be a very good reason he wasn’t able to work).

No matter, the beetle who has so little is willing to share. The ant who has plenty that he can’t even use, says too bad grasshopper go die. I AM NOT SHARING.

Moral of the story: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

part 2 or 2

Posted by: Kaybeth34 | July 1, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Pass the unemployment extension bill. The America people need all the support that they can get. I been out out of work since February 2009. My benefits will run out at the end of July without this extension. I have an interview scheduled for next week and may get a job. If not, and Congress doesn't get its act together, I'll be filing for bankruptcy and living out of my car in August.

BTW, I'm a Republican. If that still means anything these days.

Posted by: cdreimer | July 1, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Grassly is incorrect. We ought to pay for all long-term tax cuts, i.e. reduce spending to offset them. Upfront. Just as long-term spending increases ought to be financed by long-term tax increases, upfront. Because we cannot depend upon the outcome. Economic research repeatedly shows that NEITHER tax cuts nor government spending has more than modest effects on long-term growth. (Recent history has added a canned laughtrack.)

Therefore, long-term tax cuts (such as extending the Bush Tax Cuts) must be offset by long-term spending cuts. That ought to go for the middle-class's tax cuts, too. Otherwise we are ensuring that there will be a deficit.

The CBO just showed that the long-term budget is manageable, within the limitations of analytical ability. And economic growth lumbers on without your meddling. So let's draw the line here, now. No more long-term tax cuts, no more long-term spending increases, unless they are paid for upfront.

As to short-term stimulus, which is different than long-term growth, it's pretty clear that first you do a demand-side stimulus like more unemployment benefits, and then you can help out more with a little supply-side stimulus like a targeted tax cut of some sort.

But the short-term "stimulus" effect of such tax cuts should not be confused with long-term "growing the economy," as Sen. Grassley might have it. They are different things. Once again, economic research shows that tax cuts only have a modest effect on long-term growth.

Meanwhile the last report I saw was that the Bush Tax Cuts haven't even paid for themselves in extra increased revenue. Is this still true? They certainly haven't reconstituted the Social Security trust funds, which were vacuumed clean by the taxcutters. End the Bush Tax Cuts!

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | July 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, the working families talking point.

Posted by: novalifter | July 1, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

cdreimer & oh9th:

I wish you both luck. I also wish you both had not supported republicans your entire voting lives. Empathy is never too late to learn.

Posted by: jamesfrench1 | July 1, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Just think, if the incompetent idiot in the White House had spent as much effort on job creation and the economy as on obamacare, everyone who wanted a job would be working and unemployment benefits would be essentially irrelevant.

If rhetoric was action, every unemployed American would be living in a mansion. Unfortunately, talk is cheap unless it is followed by action. Obama is all talk and no action. Sort of "Where's the beef?"

Posted by: Incredulous52 | July 1, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Stabenow was governor, and helped to bankrupt the state.

Now she's up at the big Fed trough and slopping with the best of the porkers.

We need to stop the spending or our grandchildren will be in soup lines.

This November can't come soon enough to shovel the democrat tax/borrrow and spend manure out of Congress.

Posted by: LarryG62 | July 1, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Stabenow: ‘To take money from job creation to fund unemployment benefits makes no sense.’"

Sen. Stabenow is correct, but then we're talking about the Nancy Pelosi, upside-down logic, fantasy world here, so real-world maxims don't apply.

Posted by: flintston | July 1, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@MosBen: "Kevin, that's not how I read her statement. I took her to be saying that moving money from one stimulative effort to another doesn't make any sense because what you want to do is inject new money into the economy to stimulate it more. You want the job creation *and* the unemployment benefits."

All right, I can see that. But in the case that unemployment benefits do have a stimulative effect, then it does kind of make sense to spend stimulus money on stimulative extensions of jobless benefits. Maybe she mean that it would just be better if we did both, rather than raided the money for shovel-ready-jobs to help the folks without jobs pay the bills.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | July 1, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"All right, I can see that. But in the case that unemployment benefits do have a stimulative effect, then it does kind of make sense to spend stimulus money on stimulative extensions of jobless benefits. Maybe she mean that it would just be better if we did both, rather than raided the money for shovel-ready-jobs to help the folks without jobs pay the bills."

It isn't a complicated thing.

The stimulus money was intended to ~create~ jobs. If it is spent for the intended purpose, some unemployed people will be able to exit unemployment insurance altogether and return to work.

So to say we should raid the money that will create new jobs that will ease unemployment, in order to fund benefits to people who remain unemployed does not make sense. We need to do create jobs and help the unemployed, not choose only one or the other.
for UI
Threaten to pay with money taken out of agricultural subsidies to Nebraska farmers, and pick up Ben Nelson's vote.

Posted by: Patrick_M | July 1, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't know why America makes things a big damn deal!. Just print more money! It is paper made in a factory! It's not like they have to dig for gold or anything! This supposed to be a rich and wealthy country but yet it's so poor! It's honestly enough of everything for everyone! I'm not proud to be an American at all! I'm just living here for so sake! My God please help the senators!

Posted by: jaynells224 | July 1, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Every person that is unemployed or cares about the unemployed should be signing this.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_ a_tier_v_added_ to_unemployment _benefits

I am not one of the unemployed however see the need for Unemployment extensions… The fact that Congress cannot find other cuts is unacceptable; they always go after what is needed the most and save their pet projects and Wall Street friends.

Congress needs to be held accountable for the their failure to create a jobs bill and a jobs market. Extending Unemployment is not the answer however it what is needed now.
The Answer is to create jobs, which will take Congress placing higher taxes on any company that out sources jobs over seas, higher taxes on any funds leaving the US and higher tariffs on imports. Until then we have to pay out unemployment for the failure of our leaders.

Support unemployment here, it is one of Change.org highest all time petitions.
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_ a_tier_v_added_ to_unemployment _benefits

I am dropping this link everywhere to gain support for the unemployed. I am doing my part, are you?

Posted by: Tim_incubator | July 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Senator Sabenow's clarification of the "fillibuster" is jaw dropping. I thought I knew a little about it but clearly I don't and it is much more disruptive than I thought. I think this is a huge story and people don't know it. Make the way this works even clearer, get it on the front page, and let every senator that participates in this pay the price.

Posted by: TomCantlon | July 2, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

LarryG62 : "Stabenow was governor, and helped to bankrupt the state."
No she wasn't. Stabenow was a state senator and congresswoman before being elected to the US Senate. Try getting your facts straight.

Posted by: marvyT | July 2, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"And this is why Reid’s job is so difficult. It takes a week to a vote on a filibuster."

This is too much! WHOSE FAULT IS IT ABOUT THE FILLIBUSTER HOLDING THINGS UP? Who's been running the Senate since 2007? The Democrats REFUSE to consider ending, or even MODIFYING, this outdated parlimentary rule.

Even Stabenow, with her states high unemployment, acts as though the fillibuster is some sacred cow. IT'S NOT.

The Democrats would rather be held hostage by the minority GOP and impotently blame the fillibuster for their letting millions suffer from unemployment benefits being stopped. IT'S NOT THE FILLIBUSTER'S FAULT, IT'S THE DEMOCRATS SLAVISH DEVOTION TO IT THAT IS!

Take away the fillibuster and the Senate functions as it should.

It's astounding to read these comments of Stabenow while knowing the problems the Democrats have getting things done are all due to nothing more than an outdated, undemocratic parlimentary rule.

Posted by: toc59 | July 2, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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