Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowGOP set for all-out battle over Michigan Senate seat Overnight Energy: EPA delays board's review of 'secret science' rules | Keystone pipeline spill affecting more land than thought | Dems seek probe into Forest Service grants tied to Alaska logging Democrats ask for investigation of Forest Service grant related to logging in Tongass National Forest MORE (D-Mich.) on Saturday blamed Senate Republican leaders for the stalled unemployment benefits extension.

The senator said that by remaining silent on Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-Ky.) objection to a unanimous consent motion on the bill, GOP leaders implicitly offered their support for the move.


"Where is the Republican leadership on Monday? Where will the Republican leadership be next week," Stabenow said on a conference call with reporters organized by the Democratic leadership. "Are they going to stand up and stop this...or are they going to continue by their silence to support Sen. Bunning?"

Bunning on Thursday night raised an objection to the move that would have allowed the Senate to quickly pass a short-term extension of certain unemployment benefits and COBRA healthcare benefits.

Don Stewart, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Schumer briefs Democrats on impeachment trial 'mechanics' Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-Ky.), responded by pointing to the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDoctors are dying by suicide every day and we are not talking about it Impeachment trial throws curveball into 2020 race Harry Reid: Early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire 'not representative of the country anymore' MORE (D-Nev.) and Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSupreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban MORE (D-Ill.) appeared to place sole blame on Bunning for stalling the benefits' extension.

Durbin said Friday that it was "because of the objection of one Senator who says we have to learn our lesson about deficits.” And Reid said on Thursday that "When 99 senators want something done, it is not right for one Senator to hold it up. My friend has that right. But it is a real problem for so many different people."

Regan Lachapelle, a spokesperson for Reid, stood by Stabenow's comments.

"Yes, after the events of this past week she is correct," she said in an e-mail. "With so many Americans out of work and depending on this assistance, all of the Republicans should be standing up in support of passing these extensions."

It's not clear if McConnell has asked Bunning to halt his objection, but that could matter little since any senator can unilaterally object to such a motion.

But Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMcConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' Overnight Energy: Protesters plan Black Friday climate strike | 'Father of EPA' dies | Democrats push EPA to abandon methane rollback Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre MORE (D-Ore.) said that other Republican senators appeared on the Senate floor Thursday night and were poised to filibuster the extensions.

"When it was Bunning by himself, we had the prospect of getting unanimous consent but when coordinated support for him materialized on the floor," he said on the call.  "At that point we weren't facing the opp from Sen bunning, we were facing the prospect of a GOP filibuster."

Merkley said that Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Tenn.) and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Iowa GOP lawmaker calls flying of trans flag above Capitol an act of the 'Rainbow Jihad' MORE (R-Ala.) came to the floor in that regard. But it is not clear if Republicans were prepared to marshal 41 votes to uphold a filibuster.

Stewart said in an e-mail that senators entered into a unanimous consent agreement for the full tax extenders bill for next week, which will include the stalled unemployment and COBRA extensions.

Stabenow pledged to work to pass that measure as quickly as possible but suggested that Republicans could stall it.

"They could slow this down by offering amendments but we are going to move as fast as we can," she said.

This post was updated at 1:45 p.m.