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Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Rhode Island. He is correct. The folks at the top got bailed out, and middle-class families are stuck on the hook. Five people looking for every one job. It is critical that we act. I am hopeful that instead of hearing another round of no, we will hear yes and that people will come together. There are millions of people out of work who have hit this wall. They are in every State. They are in red States, blue States, purple States. They are in every State. This should not be a partisan issue.
On behalf of millions, at least 2 to 3 million people who find themselves in this particular situation, who are asking us to understand, who are asking us for help, asking us to give a lifeline to them so they can care for their families and get back to work, I ask unanimous consent that the Finance Committee be discharged from S. 3706, the Americans Want to Work Act; that the Senate then proceed to its immediate consideration; that the bill be read three times, passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table; that any statement relating to the measure be printed in the Record.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
Mr. LeMIEUX. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, may I ask of my colleague from Michigan a couple of questions.
Ms. STABENOW. Yes.
Mr. LeMIEUX. We have just been handed this. I wonder if my colleague could let us know what the cost of this bill is and how it is paid for.
Ms. STABENOW. The bill is designated, as other unemployment extensions have been designated, as emergency spending, just as we would do for
any other catastrophe. If 15 million people out of work isn't an economic disaster, I don't know what is. For the millions involved, this is viewed as disaster assistance. We intend to move forward with a sense of urgency to put people back to work so in fact we will turn this economy around.
Mr. LeMIEUX. Respectfully, without knowing how much it is going to cost and how we will pay for it, while we are all certainly sympathetic and want to work to make people go back to work--my home State of Florida is certainly suffering with very high unemployment--we need to know what it is going to cost and how we will pay for it so we don't put the debt on our children and grandchildren.
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