Originally published "State of the Nation" at Desk of Brian:
You will surely hear (if you haven't already) how Senator Jim Bunning and Republicans don't care about the uninsured or the unemployed. Even party loyalists are turning on Bunning as Bunning upset the Senate spending "apple cart" by voting NO to bill spending $10 billion.
Susan Collins of Maine was eager to lead the foolish accusations and comparisons to a filibuster and exaggerate the martyrdom of Americans.
Problem is:this is NOT A FILIBUSTER!
A filibuster is a technical procedure to block a unanimous cloture vote in the Senate. The $10 billion spending was on the floor for "Unanimous consent" and Bunning's objection WILL CREATE DEBATE. Instead of flying right through, they have to discuss the bill and find a way to pay for it.
$10 billion to extend unemployment benefits, COBRA, perpetuating doctor fees for Medicare patients, flood insurance, highway spending -- Bunning supports all of this: if we can find a way to pay for it.
"When 100 senators are for a bill and we can't
find $10 billion to pay for it, there's something the matter, seriously
the matter with this body." Bunning proclaims as he reminds us that the Democratic controlled Senate of the last three years has escalated the debt $5 trillion dollars."
It takes a moment like this to stop the bleeding, stop the endless freight train of abusive spending and that hero is in Kentucky.
Jim DeMint (R-SC) has come to the aid of Bunning: "When we borrow the money to do it we threaten the futures of our
children and grandchildren, diminish their quality of life and likely
cause their unemployment in the future."
Better late than never.
Todd Schnitt, a Conservative talk show host here in Tampa, objective to the decision because it's "political suicide" and bad timing.
Isn't that the core of the problem: being Conservative, following the Constitution ONLY when it's convenient and politically expedient to do so.
So let's throw some gasoline on the fire and mention that the PAYGO BILL - requiring Congress to offset spending to keep a zero balance, was just passed. A year - A YEAR after the $2 trillion deficit of the first year in office, President Obama can pound his chest in victory.
Of course, within a month, Congress wants $10 billion in "emergency spending" -- not from the stimulus, extra spending.
How are we going to pay for it?
"This is a temporary extension. It's over $10 billion. And all Senator
Bunning was saying, quite correctly, is it ought to be paid for.
Congress just passed the so-called pay-go legislation which is supposed
to require that we find offsets or other savings if we're going to spend
money. We exempt this bill from it. ... The question for
the longer term extension is a different issue, because that's well over
$100 billion." - John Kyl (R-AZ)
So let's check the other side of the aisle:
"As American families
are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that
political games are putting a stop to important construction projects
around the country," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
"This means that construction workers will be sent home from job sites
because federal inspectors must be furloughed."
Is he kidding? Political games...the bill isn't passed and workers are sent home. I've told you how stupid they think we are.
Harry Reid responded by attacking Bunning for raising "no objections to passing the Bush tax cuts and authorizing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without paying for the provisions" -- Reid's point is well taken, but isn't that the whole point to PayGo.
Partisan politics on both sides, spineless wimps for leaders and we're left with the tab. Bunning's move didn't earn any Republicans public opinion points, but if they were more concerned about that DEBT instead of getting re-elected, then they'd see how they could continue the theme to stop the Healthcare Reform freight train.
Jim DeMint defending Bunning:
John Kyl finally joins in the fight: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/01/reid-neutralize-bunnings-objection-unemployment-aid/
Pic: USA Today http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/03/sen-bunnings-one-man-filibuster-is-over/1