Jim Bunning Wins, the Unemployed Lose


Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, who isn't running for reelection, successfully blocked the Senate from voting yesterday on a House bill to extend unemployment benefits, which are set to expire tomorrow. Bunning insisted that the $10 billion needed to extend the benefits be offset by other savings rather than added to the deficit.

“If we can’t find $10 billion somewhere for a bill that everybody in this body supports, we will never pay for anything,” Mr. Bunning said.

Now Democrats couldn't be more pissed at Bunning and Republican leaders who have remained silent during the Senator's one-man filibuster.

“Where is the Republican leadership,” asked Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow. “Are they going to stand up and stop this or are they going to continue by their silence to be supporting what Sen. Bunning is doing.”

Democrats plan to try to force a vote next week to cut off debate and bring the measure to an up or down vote. If that plan doesn't work, Harry Reid has a will to attach the benefits extension to another bill. Either way, Bunning has already screwed state governments because programs are going to have to be shut down and then restarted, resulting in unnecessary administrative costs. So how do Bunning's opponents plan to punish him for his obstinacy? They're going to try to throw the hall of fame pitcher out of Cooperstown.

Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits Hits a Partisan Roadblock [NYT]
Dems: GOP needs to stop Bunning [Politico]