Out-going Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning is in the hot seat this week thanks to blatant misreporting from the liberal MSM and practiced demagoguing Democrat politicos in the House and Senate on what the MSM describes as the issue of extending unemployment benefits for another thirty days. In reality, the issue for Bunning isn’t whether or not they should be extended but rather how they should be paid for, but to listen to the left and “news” outlets like the Obama-worshipping McClatchy news org., you’d think Bunning was a heartless b*stard who wants the unemployed to go without food, water, and shelter in the midst of our jobless “recovery.”
It’s the usual “GOP hates everyone” nonsense we’ve heard all too often before.
The Senate failed Thursday to extend benefits programs for laid off workers. The house on the other hand passed a bill that would have extended for one month the program so lawmakers could decide how to address the issue in the long term.
The Senate, while trying to follow suit was not successful in overcoming the strong objections of Senator Jim Bunning, Republican Senator from Kentucky. Senator Bunning would not support the bill on grounds that the additional ten billion outlay would increase the Federal budget deficit.
Senator Bunning’s position is this; rather than adding an additional ten billion to the deficit we use money from the yet unused portion of the massive “economic recovery package” enacted last year. However, and as expected, the Democrats refused consideration of this commonsense and fiscally sound approach to controlling the deficit.
It seems as our nations productive work force continues to struggle to survive… the very “party of the working man/women” is against rational initiatives that help reign in our greatest excesses that will ultimately lead to our economic collapse.
Heritage’s Brian Darling adds:
Bunning said of the bill “if we can’t find $10 billion to pay for it, we’re not going to pay for anything.” A month ago, Congress passed something called pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting when they increased the the statutory limit of allowable national debt to $14.29 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase. The current PAYGO rules are loaded with exceptions and loopholes, yet many saw the new PAYGO rules as a step in the right direction to restrain some out of control spending. The problem is that Congress seems to waive the PAYGO rule rather than offset one cent of new spending.
Basically, liberals in Congress love the idea of PAYGO, yet they refuse to enforce the statutory requirements that all new spending be offset. They do this by designating all new spending as an “Emergency Designation.” This is feel good politics at its worst, because the left can claim they are for PAYGO, yet PAYGO has yet to restrain any spending. Furthermore, the vote on PAYGO in the House helped pave the way for a $1.9 trillion increase in the debt limit. Therefore one can argue that PAYGO actually increased spending in the Congress.
Senator Bunning has proposed an offset of spending to pay for the one month extension of benefits consisting of “the unobligated amounts appropriated or made available under divisions A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5; 123 Stat. 115). $10,267,000,000 is rescinded on a pro rata basis.” Sen. Bunning is asking that the Obama Administration cut $10 billion of unspent Stimulus monies out of a $787 billion dollar proposal to continue to pay benefits to unemployed Americans.
A Senator trying to hold his fellow Senators’ feet to the fire on a law they passed just a month ago. Shocking! His fellow Senators (and opponents in the MSM) trying to demagogue him and via proxy the entire GOP by suggesting Bunning doesn’t care about the unemployed. Surprising! (Not)
Ed Morrissey puts a fine point on it all:
Pay attention to the misreporting on this issue, because it will happen again when Republicans begin using the same process to slow down reconciliation. Coburn threatened to withhold unanimous consent on bill readings during the ObamaCare debate last December, and wound up forcing the clerk to read the bill aloud for hours. If Democrats decide to cram ObamaCare through reconciliation, it won’t just be Bunning withholding unanimous consent, and not just on ObamaCare, either.
Bunning isn’t filibustering. If Democrats want to get to a vote, they can with or without unanimous consent. If their bill is well supported, it will eventually pass. But after the scolding a few weeks ago from Obama on deficit spending and the Democrats’ victory dance on pay-go, the real reason Democrats are unhappy about Bunning’s action isn’t because it’s a filibuster, but because it shows their hypocrisy on deficit spending. And the American media needs to do its research on Senate procedure before declaring the withholding of unanimous consent a “filibuster.”
Oh, and before I get jumped by the left for supposedly “hating” the unemployed, save it – I’ve got family and friends who will personally be affected one way or another by this bill, and I still support what Bunning is doing … because he’s advocating the responsible way to pay for those unemployment benefits while at the same time exposing Democrat hypocrisy on PAYGO.
Update/Related: Michelle Malkin defends Bunning here.