March 1st, 2010
02:11 PM ET
5 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 CNNMoney.com.
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 CNNMoney.com.

New York (CNNMoney.com) – 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 CNNMoney.com, 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. one voice

    Could you imagine living in the skin of this CLOWN?

    March 1, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Disgusted!!

    I am glad that Sen. Bunning has a job, health inurance, and I am sure a nice sized bank account!!! I am also so happy that he is thinking of the average American. What is wrong with this man! He is so out of touch with reality. People are hurting and are unemployed. Take away his bank account, health insurance, house, and paycheck and see what he thinks then!!

    March 1, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. chinadoll

    now all of a sudden Bunning wants to pay for something...what a complete disgrace he is

    March 1, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Brenda Shreve

    I have an idea that would save MILLIONS & MILLIONS. Let's require ALL members of the Congress & Senate to go on UNEMPLOYMENT pay until they get their pitiful acts together. The savings would pay for the peons' unemployment benefits for long enough to get the job done. I'm betting it wouldn't take long at all!

    Fed up in Alabama

    March 1, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Kathy

    How come the GOP never blocked all of the unfunded bills during the Bush administration? Same people in congress that are now acting so "financially responsible" did not care when there was a Republican President. The main goal is not financial responsibility, but blocking the Democratic President. Pathetic, no wonder we can't get anything done in DC. It all just a game to them.

    March 1, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. MikeH

    And how better to pay for it than with more tax cuts to the wealthy, eh Sen. Bunning?

    How about we give more money to Big Pharma, would that do Sen. Bunning?

    You Republicans, and especially you paid Republican liars who post here, are just disgusting. You don't deserve to live in America. You should all be sent to Iran.

    March 1, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. JonDie

    "Sen. Bunning supports this bill...'

    No he doesn't. Bunning is senile.

    March 1, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    well tell numb nuts Bunning to for go his salary too and health coverage and retirement and perks of the office he should have stayed as a base ball player it this point he would atleast be a water boy , or a towel boy , or a butt polisher of corporate america jerk LOL :)

    March 1, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    he should have helped in stopping Bush Cheney his GODS from destroying america but oh no can't do that , he would have had to vote for the people and not for corporate CEO'S pocket books jerk :)

    March 1, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. John in WV

    Don't tax the rich during recession but send thousands of hard working Americans home without work.

    March 1, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Ron

    But he doesn't believe we should have paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Interesting perspective for republicans. Well, maybe not. Who cares if Americans are unemployed. He's out this year. Only, he doesn't mention his LIFETIME retirement pay. Wanna change Congress...change the retirement and benefits plan!

    March 1, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Read the constitution

    Political gain??? I would do anything to bring awareness and stop the deconstruction of the American future by burying us in unsustainable debt.

    The Obama administration is being dishonest with the American people. Stop spending

    March 1, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Dave

    Say the bill is to make his friends rich and he will vote for it and then change the story later like the republicans do!

    March 1, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    It is truly a shame that in this country, one pompous bitter old man can bring real economic uncertainty to 400,000 unemployed adults.

    Not to mention the children of these adults that now have no security in many cases where the next meal is coming from. What if this causes them to miss a rent payment, and they are on the street? Plus, the private sector employees that will lose at least a day's pay at at time when many are barely hanging on. Getting the benefits via the heavily burdened government offices are tedious enough without this hitch in the process.

    WWJD?

    I am a "compassionate conservative" and I say throw the unemployed out into the street and take the kids with you!

    March 1, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    You See!!! It's the Party of No that is not only OBSTRUCTING Health Care Reform – they are NOW interfering with JOBS!!!

    The RepubliCAN'Ts will suffer in 2010 and 2012 – because they TRULY beleve they are representing the BULK of the American people!!! They are HEAD STRONG and DEAD WRONG!!!!

    March 1, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. JS007

    Really? Where was this jerk when a Trillion was spent in Iraq and not paid for? What about the Bush tax cuts?

    March 1, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. DF

    Stop playing the blame game. Just pass the bill, Americans are hurting you are trying to hurt Obama, But who you really hurting is the American People.

    The way things are going I'm not voting for anyone. All of you are liars!!!

    March 1, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Audrey in Georgia

    Unemployed people might start throwing baseballs. This was not a
    good move and certainly not a good way to retire. Is this really what you
    want people to remember about you?!?

    March 1, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bunning is corrupt and needs to be exposed for who he really represents, himself. Lookup his private foundation which only took in $500,000 and he was paid $180,000 and his wife is on the payroll also. Expose him for who he is and take his job away if he takes yours away.

    March 1, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. nadine

    Hey Bunning!
    You said and did nothing when Bush/Cheney ran up the deficit. Please don't be playing with American lives. Jesus, touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm.

    March 1, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. ExLeftCoast

    Thanks Sen Bunning; let's stop spending our childrens'/grandchildrens' money.

    March 1, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. jules sand-perkins

    What's wrong with paying for it?
    In tough times, people do without things for which they don't have money.
    Sen. Bunning makes sense to me.

    March 1, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. hayden zeke

    I understand Jim Bunning is crazy as an outhouse rat. Way to go, Jim, you just reminded America why they threw the GOP out.

    March 1, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. hobart

    What a loathsome hypocrite. He claims to support Main Street, yet he won't vote to continue unemployment insurances, and now he's against a jobs bill. Yet, when the last administration ran up this record deficit with unfunded tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and an unfunded prescription drug program, Mr. Bunning never cared one iota how those would be paid for. He and the Party of No are entirely to blame for this current economic mess, and now they oppose anything and everything that we might do to restore our economy.

    Senator Bunning and his fellow Republicans, why do you all hate America?

    March 1, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. john in binghamton NY

    Way to go guys! Keep up the good "work".

    March 1, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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