HE’S FLIPPING OFF MORE THAN JUST JOURNALISTS…. Sen. Jim Bunning (R) of Kentucky, who has occasionally seemed mentally unstable in recent years, is single-handedly blocking a bipartisan measure to extend unemployment benefits for Americans out of work, which has also led thousands of transportation workers to be furloughed without pay today.
Today, Democrats tried once again to garner unanimous consent to end this fiasco. And for the seventh time, Bunning blocked passage.
Despite warnings of hardships for the unemployed and highway workers, Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning on Monday again held up legislation that extends unemployment and health insurance benefits.
Benefits for about one million Americans stopped Sunday night after Bunning objected last week to an attempt to fast-track a bill that would have extended payments.
Bunning is feeling some heat over this, and he’s not handling the pressure especially well. The senator has a bit of a run-in with the media today on the Hill, and resorted to flipping off an ABC News journalist this afternoon.
And given the scope of Bunning’s truly ridiculous obstructionism, the bizarre right-wing senator seems to be actually flipping off the entire country.
I received an email earlier suggesting I haven’t been entirely fair — Bunning has a rationale for screwing over all of these struggling Americans, and it’s only right to let people know. OK, here it goes: Bunning wants the funding to come from the stimulus, instead of being added to the deficit. He wants to see the money follow pay-as-you-go rules (PAYGO), instead of making an exception.
But here are the details Bunning hopes you’ll forget: he opposes PAYGO, and has repeatedly voted to extend unemployment benefits through deficit spending before.
And so, the nation waits, either for one right-wing clown to end his tantrum, or for the Senate to jump through the procedural hoops to overcome Bunning’s obstruction — which could push off a vote until next week.
For anyone who doubts the urgent need for Senate reform, Bunning is offering Exhibit A.