WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced today that the Senate will likely move forward this week with a bill that would extend unemployment benefits in all 50 states.
“This is critical for our country,” the Democrat said during a phone call with reporters. “Wall Street may have gotten a cold and it is doing a little better, but Main Street got pneumonia. It is premature to cut off insurance benefits now.”
Klobuchar was joined on the call by Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Maurice Emsellem, the policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project.
Over the last week, Senate Democrats have called out Republicans, who have proposed attaching amendments to the bill that Democrats have said are unrelated and will delay passage.
Leadership is currently working on amendments that will go to the floor to be voted on, according to Stabenow.
The senators declined to discuss exactly what the amendments would be but did mention that amendments on ACORN, e-verify and a measure to extend the first-time homebuyers tax credit had previously been proposed.
If passed, the Senate bill would extend benefits in states with unemployment levels lower than 8.5 percent for an additional 14 weeks. For states with higher levels of unemployment, it would extend benefits for 20 weeks.
The unemployment rate in Minnesota was 7.3 percent for September.