Washington, D.C. – Tonight a single senator blocked an up-or-down vote on a measure that would extend assistance to millions of Americans who have lost their jobs during the current recession. Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley took to the floor in an effort to push for an immediate vote on the legislation which would temporarily extend unemployment insurance, COBRA health benefits and an increase in Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians, among other provisions.
Merkley released the following statement:
“At a time when so many are hurt, so many are out of work and are just looking for a little help to get by, it is absolutely astounding that one person would stand between workers and a helping hand. American workers are not asking for much – just a short extension while we debate longer-term measures. Yet that is too much for one of my colleagues who would see workers lose benefits and health care rather than allow an up-or-down vote on a bill that passed the House unanimously. It is outrageous and it should end now.”