March 1st, 2010
02:11 PM ET
8 years ago

Senator's filibuster threatens highway jobs: DOT

A spokesman for Sen. Bunning said the senator supports a bill that includes federal funding for transportation projects, but Bunning also believes 'we should pay for it,' the spokesman told

A spokesman for Sen. Bunning said the senator supports a bill that includes federal funding for transportation projects, but Bunning also believes 'we should pay for it,' the spokesman told

New York ( - Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood on Monday blamed a senator's filibuster for furloughing thousands of  federal employees and threatening state jobs while shutting down highway  construction projects nationwide.

"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," wrote LaHood, in a press release. "This means  that construction workers will be sent home from job sites because federal inspectors must be furloughed."

LaHood was referring to the one-man filibuster of Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., who has blocked a bill that would, among other things, provide a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which is a federal fund set up to pay for transportation projects around the country.

Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard did not speak directly about the job disruptions cited by LaHood, when asked about it by, but he reiterated Bunning's belief that if 100 senators support the bill, they should come up with the $10 billion to fund it on a pay-as-you-go basis.

"Sen. Bunning supports this bill," said Reynard. "He believes it's essential, and he believes we should pass it. But he believes we should pay for it. "

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soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Save America from the democrats...

    I got an idea: let's get together and march right down to Bunning's office and let him know what we think of his "principles".

    Mob rule will show him the way.

    March 1, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Votethemallout...

    Yep...Republicans at work...Don't give a hoot about anyone but themselves.

    March 1, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. El Gordo

    Bunning is a Conservative Senator, so it is save to assume he is lying. Conservatives don't give a crap about fiscal responsibility or they would not have voted for the Republican budgets of Ronald Reagan (added $1.5 trillion to the national debt in 8 years), George Bush #1 (added $1.5 trillion to the national debt in 4 years), and George Bush #2 (added $5 trillion to the national debt in 8 years).

    They only want to gridlock the government so that Obama will fail and you will vote for a Conservative in November 2012. Conservatives know that government can do nothing unless there is money to pay for it – either tax revenues or borrowed money. By pretending to be concerned about expenditures, they can appear to have a legitimate grievance. It's like the Conservatives who pretended to be concerned about Constitutional issues when they opposed anti-lynching laws and anti-segregation bills and bills to outlaw sexual harassment in the workplace.

    Bunning is retiring, so he can safely oppose benefits for unemployed workers and their hungry families. I'm sure he is being taken care of somehow – or a relative of his is.

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me a hundred times over a fifty year period, and I must be a Conservative voter.

    March 1, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. ran

    But he does not believe we should have to pay for the 2 Bush's wars or the tax cuts.

    I Hope the great people will vote in a true Democrat to replace him. I do feel sorry they have to wait until 2014 to get ride of MM.

    March 1, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Lee--Dallas, TX

    Our system is broken. The minority can stop things from going forward and 1 man (troll) can stop hundreds of thousands of people from being paid. America wake up, REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTIONISM is not the key.

    March 1, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Mike in MN

    I don't always agree with Bunning, but he is 100% correct here.
    Obama and Pelosi and the Democrats have been grandstanding about ending out of control spending and braging about passing pay as you go to stop the deficit spending.
    But so far they just keep wanting to pass new spending bills without paying for them. Democrats say one thing and do another and then think voters are too stupid to notice.
    My guess the Democrats in Congress will be too stupid to notice when they all lose in November and will be suprised when the moving people come and box up their stuff and throw them out.

    March 1, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Dean

    Some one in our government actually believes we should pay for bills we pass? Amazing, but more amazing are the liberals who are bashing him for it.

    March 1, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Frank, Philadelphia Suburbs

    I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and although Senator Jim Bunning is not my Senator, my fond memory of him was the perfect game he pitched for the Phillies on Father's Day back in the 1960"s. Unfortunately, my memory of him will now be his recent vote to deny millions of worker's on unemployment to lose their benefits, I guess that since he is not running for re-election, he no longer cares. SHAME ON YOU Jim Bunning.

    March 1, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Kevin in Ohio

    The filibuster will end, Mr.LaHood, when you find a way to pay for this without printing more money.

    March 1, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. me and mr b, oak harbor WA

    How did a Republican do this? Who was asleep at the switch? Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    March 1, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. clarence c

    the way to go jim,screw up everything.make people suffer what goes around comes around!!!

    March 1, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Open Minded Realist

    I wonder if Mr Bunning would feel the same if it was a bill to raise salaries for those same 100 senators?

    March 1, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Sean

    Rush Limbaugh's words in action. Good job. Close down all the highway construction projects, stop the stimulus package from being delivered to the American people, and stop these jobs.... and then blame it on Obama for not creating jobs. Good work, very well planned. Tea partiers on one end, filibuster on the other, big mouth Rush and Sarah on the other, all taking the bad things, and then give the Republican Senators credits.... and once all these collapsed, they'll take over the power, and then so-called rebuild America by reducing all taxes, stop all infrastructure projects, fund very expensive military projects, and then support Medicaid.... and then we'll invade another country, for Israel. Then we'll back to square one again..... Americans, when would you wake up and see this well-planned tricks?

    March 1, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. NC

    The games being played in Washington are really hurting our Country and our standing in the world. It is time for Educated Patriotic Americans to speak up. We have let the likes of people like Bunning, tea baggers, and the party of No make us a laughingstock of the world.

    March 1, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. mark nj

    I bet he is eating well tonight!!!. The north south war, will rise again very quickly!!!

    March 1, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. sharon

    sen bunning may change his mind, when the bridges callapse,people die, roads fall apart, mudslides and rock slides can not be moved, no one can get to work.....those that have jobs........then those jobs he is now causing NOT to happen, then those workers can not eat, keep their homes,go on welfare,food stamps,shelters.............on and on it will go.

    which way would be cheaper?

    I think jobs.

    does mr. bunning need to be replaced and stand in line for a road job?.........that may not be?

    sounds like it.

    how long can he go without eating?

    March 1, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    anyone that thinks the Republicans want the unemployment rate to go down, for the stimulus to create jobs, or for the economy as a whole to improve need to wake up and smell the coffee. The only thing the GOP can hope for, not having any platform nor answers of their own, is hoping that what the Obama administration does either fails or that they can convince voters that it's not working or will work. You ever notice that whenever any message comes out about the job market improving even slightly or the economy getting better they come out and say "NO IT'S NOT"!! What happened here is no surprise to me...what is a surprise is that more people including the "tea party" folks don't either realize it or want to stay in denial over it.

    March 1, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. lynn

    Well, didn't this same party just turn down a bill that would require 'pay-as-go'? What hypocrisy!!!!

    March 1, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Another republican hypocrite. Now all of a sudden he wants everything to be paid for. Where was this thinking when he voted for the Iraq war?

    March 1, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Houston Mom

    Speaking as one of those unemployed Texans, a 47 yr-old with 25 years of solid work experience I can certainly tell what the Republicans think about the working class. They are treating us like pawns.

    I used to vote for Republican candidates, as recently as 2009, never again. I say used to because I will never again even consider a Republican the rest of my life.

    When you intentionally disrupt my ability to feed my family you become my enemy. You hear that Republicans?

    March 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Total smoke and mirrors job. "Oh, look over here, shiny shiny no, don't look at the facts and practical effect of my posturing...shiiiiiny."

    Bunning is holding it up because he wants more people angry at government and angry about their unemployment while the WH and Congress are controlled by Dems. Period.


    March 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. S Callahan

    It seems like the picture is getting jobs, no unemployement insurance benifits, now the 'road work' is closing down...I suspect end weeks news is....not gonna be good.

    March 1, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. one voice

    The Republicans don't care about jobs for the Average Americans, their goal is to see the President fail at all costs. They obstruct Health care, jobs bills, tax cuts for the working class, tax breaks for education, the list goes on and on. They are for unjust wars that costs trillions and tax breaks for the already rich. Eliminate the Republican Party and WE could make America strong again from top to bottom. Time for big business to pull their weight and give the Average American a change to survive before it's too late.

    March 1, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Larry

    He shoulda stuck to baseball. At least there he was in his 'league', so to speak.

    March 1, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |


    March 1, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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