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February 26, 2010

Sen. Jim Bunning Won't Allow Vote On Unemployment Benefits Unless They Are Paid For

And if you don't like it, he's got two words for you..."Tough Shit".

In an unusual display in the normally sleepy chamber, Bunning – without the support of GOP leadership – has blocked efforts to quickly approve a series of extensions to measures that would otherwise expire Sunday, including unemployment insurance and the Cobra program that allows people who lose their health benefits to continue getting coverage.

And that has led to a furious exchange on the floor, with Democrats attacking the senator, who has refused to relent on his objection, in unusually harsh terms.

In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.

“Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.

Bunning apparently supports the bill, he just wants this $10 billion covered by some cuts or to come out of the Congressional Slush Fund (aka TARP).

Obama signed a new Pay-Go bill not too long ago, I guess that starts later or probably never.

This is a bit of showmanship, Reid will be able to get this to the floor once they come back next week but it does show the GOP hasn't quite taken the deficit message to heart yet. I know this is a politically necessary bill but it would be nice if the Republicans made some effort to actually pay for this stuff by at least offering some areas where costs could be offset. Not so much it seems.


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posted by DrewM. at 03:52 PM

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