Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | February 27, 2010

Bunning refuses to budge on blocking unemployment benefits

The Senate adjourned on Friday without clearing legislation to extend a range of federal programs set to expire Feb. 28 as Sen. Jim Bunning refused to allow consideration of the measure.

The Kentucky Republican continued his one-man filibuster, undeterred by calls from Democrats that millions of Americans hardest hit by the recession would stop receiving unemployment checks if the bill isn’t finished.

With Bunning refusing to back down, Democrats likely will need to use the cloture process to overcome his objections. Completing those procedural steps would likely push final action on the measure into next week.

Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would continue his attempts to work out an agreement with Bunning to advance the “extenders” bill.

On Friday, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., once again appealed to Bunning, asking for consent to clear the bill. But, as he did repeatedly Thursday until almost midnight, Bunning held firm and rejected the proposal.

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

Bunning, who is retiring from the Senate when his term ends this year, insisted that the bill contain provisions that would pay for the extensions with economic stimulus funds. Reid had agreed to a vote on Bunning’s amendment, but Bunning did not expect his colleagues to adopt it.

Durbin ripped Bunning for using the bill as a forum to debate the national debt and defended treating the cost of the measure as emergency spending.

“The simple fact of the matter is that this is an emergency situation and should be treated as such,” Durbin said.

The bill includes a wide range of provisions. It would extend, among other things: expanded unemployment benefits; surface transportation programs; the compulsory copyright license used by satellite TV providers; the federal flood insurance program; and health insurance subsidies for the jobless.

The bill was aimed at giving lawmakers time to work on a package that would included longer-term extensions of these and other programs.


  1. Did you know that Jim Bunning, on his website, states that he is an active member of a Christian church? Anyway… I just posted what I did to start applying pressure to this jerk from all ends. Don’t know if it will work but if you can help out, that would be great! Here’s the direct link to my blog post:

    Thanks so much!


    • I guess “Christianity” has some limits to people’s suffering and neglect–especially when you’re a staunch member of the GOP.

    • Check out my new post on the “latest” on this idiot’s “Lone Wolf” crap. He makes Lieberman look like a saint in comparison! (shakes head)

  2. I so hear you. What in God’s name is going on? I’ve been unemployed for almost two years. I’ve never seen it so bad. It’s so discouraging and an asshole like Bunning… We should take away his social security and retirement to help pay for everything. Sigh.

    • Or make him live on fixed income like mine and my wife’s. ($428 a month on state disability.)

      • $428/month? How on earth are you surviving on that? Keep the faith!

      • My wife and I get $214 a month on state disability (GAU). But I’ve had worse!

        When I was on Social Security and SSDI for much of my younger life–about 19…20–my maximum amount in the early 90s was $385 and $425 a month.

        I stayed on $525 for 5 or 6 years, before government allotments and some number-crunching finally brought it up to $642 in the early 2000s and was at $741 before the government cut me off, stating: “Because you can work and write a book, then you’re cured of your cerebral palsy and other health maladies.”

        Yeah, well…if I was *cured*, why do I now have Factor Five Leiden and Recurrent Calcium Stone Disease? (The former is a life-threatening blood-clotting disorder that can *kill* me without proper medical treatment within a few weeks time–because it’s a malfunction in my clotting factor; where my blood spontaneously clots for no apparent reason–the other is where my body constantly manufactures kidney stones through excess calcium in my body due to a Vitamin D deficiency problem I was diagnosed only a few months ago. I’ve had four rounds of laser lithotripsy and shock-wave treatments to break up the stones–because passing stones (for a GUY) is the closest thing to giving birth you can ever possibly imagine!)

        The government doesn’t care if I’m healthy or not, or on death’s doorstep–which I am pretty much putting one foot in and one foot out on a daily basis–all they want to know is if I can WORK.

        And given my current condition? I could only last a maximum of 15 minutes at full strength before I’m too tired and exhausted to continue.

        So I wouldn’t be of any use to any employer–especially with my bleeding issues. Would you hire someone whom could bleed profusely from either a modest cut or a small laceration–or get bruised or injured and still bleed regardless?

        I know I wouldn’t–because that would put me and my company in the “neglectful lawsuit” category.

        Most people don’t understand *why* or *how* people like me can survive on the income we get–the one I showed you.

        After years of living on what I was given–? I learned to be on a tight-assed budget that would make a rich Republican crap his pants.

        I can’t replace something that’s easily broken or worn out–like our two small DVD players for example (which finally gave up the ghost this past month)–I can’t go on a spending spree, I can’t buy decent clothes, I can’t afford a car, a house, or go to college.

        When you live on what we get each month, the only thing you focus on is: Your portion of the rent, utilities, maybe an inexpensive dinner once in awhile, and bird food for your two parakeets.

        Food–if you have *anything* leftover–something to stretch until Food Stamp Day (which is the 8th for us every month), and then buy healthy when you can: Salads, fish, potatoes, anything that can stretch the food budget.

        But we have been cutting back on junk food and sugars. Not enough to make us totally comatose, but just enough to satiate our inner child. :0)

        My mother-in-law–whom is pretty well off (despite the debts she’s accrued)–can never figure out why we can’t save *money*.

        I showed her the $339 we got last year–all of it!–and I said: “This is all we get. After storage and our mailbox…? We don’t have much left to save.”

        These days…? We have *less*. But we keep hoping someday that things will get better.

        I’m just hoping I can get my books published through my own imprint and make enough for us to live off of: Something more than $500 a month.

        I wouldn’t mind $1000–if I could wing it. ;0)

        But I’m not looking to “be rich”. Given the vulgarities of the publishing world…?

        My chances would be roughly 1 in 2.13 million odds of being successful.

        Reason why I’ve put so much time and effort into my work.

        I only have *one* shot at this, so I might as well make it a good one!

  3. I’ve worked in PR, communications, marketing, etc. I don’t have big connections. I don’t know if I even have any connections at this point but — how can I help?

    Send me an e-mail to bittenbyazebra at yahoo dot com. We can brainstorm, maybe?


    • Sure! If you’ve had such experience in these areas, that is a BIG HELP to me!

      I have such limited resources and not any realistic means to make a ‘big splash’ out on the media circuit, but right now…?

      I’ll take *any* help I can get! :0)

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