Jul 22, 2010
Democratic leader also urges GOP to move on Hire Michigan First bills
Senate Minority Leader Mike Prusi, D-Ishpeming, was just one person battling Republicans to help those unable to find a job in the Bush recession continue to receive unemployment benefits, and the persistence paid off on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate a approved a six-month extension of unemployment benefits after weeks of Republican obstructionism.
Prusi introduced Senate Resolution 172 on July 1 urging U.S. Senate Republicans to put partisanship aside and lift their filibuster on a bill that will allow a six-month extension of unemployment benefits and Medicaid funding, but Michigan Senate Republicans even refused to allow a vote on the resolution and promptly went on a two week vacation.
“I am glad to see that two Republicans in the U.S. Senate finally allowed a vote on an extension of unemployment benefits and that it passed last night,” Prusi said. “I called on them to do so weeks ago, and it’s just a shame that more than 100,000 unemployed Michigan residents had to struggle to get by with their lifeline cut for three weeks while the Republicans played games and took vacations.”
While Senate Republicans enjoyed their vacation, 114,000 Michigan residents had their unemployment benefits run out. These workers, along with almost 300,000 additional unemployed Michigan workers, will have their benefits extended thanks to Congress’ action last night.
“Unfortunately, it isn’t much different in the State Senate, where Mike Bishop and the Senate Republicans continue to do nothing for Michigan ’s economy and our unemployed workers,” Prusi said. “We have legislation before the State Senate that would hire Michigan workers first on state-funded projects and secure $138.9 million in federal funding to extend unemployment benefits for workers in retraining programs. The Senate Republicans in Lansing need to stop obstructing our efforts to help Michigan workers.