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. alphonso

    where was he on this 4 years ago.anytime the peopke n kentucky say u r 2 ringwing 4 them u must b crazy man.kent is a red state.and they say u r 2 far out there that must mean u r a total nut job!u r not running bcause u knew u would lose!

    March 1, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. get real

    Let's take away all the federal funding going to Kentucky schools to pay for it. I bet Mr. Bunning would support that.

    March 1, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Jack Lowe

    This is a perfect example of why our democratic process is bankrupt. It has evolved into some ludicrous mutation where individuals far removed from practicality can bottleneck progress.
    If Bunning wants to filibuster let him do it the original way. I'm sure this windbag has the capacity!

    March 1, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. AD

    Him again???

    March 1, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Kate

    Let me ask Sen. Bunning this: Do you think Bush should have paid for the wars?
    Do you think that Bush should have paid for NCLB?
    Do you think that Bush should have paid for the prescription drug plan?
    Do you think that Bush should have paid for the tax cuts for the wealthY?
    Bush got away with sending this country into the worse economic times we have seen for a long time. Is this okay Sen. Bunning?

    March 1, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    Typical GOP don't allow anything to happen then baleme the Dems whaen nothing improves. Great politics .........lousy governing. Typical.

    March 1, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Squigman

    It's a shame the populace of the nation, dosen't have the option to filibuster when these so called leaders of our society decide to vote themselves a raise. As a matter of fact, I'd like to see a grass roots movement to start takeaway's for these elected representitives. and include their health care in the clawback of their livelyhoods. They seem to have little sympathy for the common person, the person who allowed them to opportunity to achieve the status they seem to believe makes them better than the rest of the people..

    March 1, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. GJ

    Bunning is probably the biggest disaster to ever hit the Senate. He is mean and stupid - not a good combination.

    March 1, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Linda C

    Gee, have the money to pay for something, before you buy it. What a concept!

    March 1, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. get real

    Funny, I didn't see him holding up the wars that we didn't bother to pay for (or even put in the regular budget) OR the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans...that wasn't paid for either. Bunning was fine when that turned a surplus into a deficit. Now, he's interested in paying for stuff.

    He seems to only have a problem programs for the average workin' folks. Not surprising coming from a Republican.

    March 1, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Preston kk

    Pkm why people can not see that bunning and the other gop thugs believe if do not have money you can be home less and they do not care

    March 1, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Can't Wait Til November

    It's political games by this administration that got us into this in the first place. The only time they talk about jobs is in the same sentence as blaming the republican minority for lack of progress. Meantime it's groundhog day (again and every day) on the healthcare debacle that's going nowhere fast. Jobs are really nowhere to be found on the administration's agenda.

    March 1, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. John in Tampa

    Okay already, we know you are a man of principle. Now bend to necessity, things will get better.

    March 1, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |

    Does anyone reaaly think that Sen. Bunning gives a rat's behind about average working-class people. If its not tax breaks for his rich buddies and he is not getting a kickback in some way, he does not care about you.

    March 1, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Colleen

    Our system is truely broken when one Senator can destroy so much and so many. He needs to go ahead and go.

    March 1, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Mesa Mick

    OK, if this heartless, coldblooded, jackbooted brown shirt Bunning wants it paid for here's an idea...

    Simply cut $10B from the federal subsidy dollars going to Kentucky this year. That should do it...

    March 1, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. El Kababa

    Let the scoundrels filibuster! Is there no courage at all among Democrats? Call for a vote and let Republicans filibuster from now until election day. Right now, Republicans have all the advantages of filubustering but none of the disadvantages. All some Republican has to do is say "Filib..." and those two syllables throw Democrats into hysteria.

    Make Bunning stand up there and talk until he passes out, then make another Republican pass out, and another and another. I would rather see 8 months of filibustering instead of 8 months of mealy-mouthed rhetoric about bipartisanship from Democrats.

    Does no Democrat have any courage at all. Have we managed to elect the 59 most cowardly individuals in North America to the Senate? Push the plungers and detonate. Use reconciliation. Remove the filibuster from the Senate rules. Make the Republicans talk until they are all exhausted. Stay in session 24/7 until December if necessary.

    Why am I wasting my breath? They should all just adjourn and go home. Bring the troops home too. America is done for.

    March 1, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. DOG1

    Hey Senator, how about we pay for it by cutting some of the oil companies subsidies, or some of the money we're putting out to rebuild other countries, or maybe cut back on Israels allowance, or maybe look at some of the earmarks I bet you've included in the budgets and bills. I don't hear you piping up about fiscal responsibility when those get funded!

    March 1, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Obama the Arrogant Liar

    Finally, someone who will stop the U.S. Treasury from printing more socialist Obama money.

    March 1, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Cincinnatian

    Gotta love those teabagger morons in our do-nothing Congress...another loss for the American people...

    March 1, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. gale godfrey

    senator Bunning I hope you go to hell! how dare you take food out of children's mouths and cause tens of thousands of people to lose everything they have including health insurance just because you don't agree with anything democrats are trying to pass through for the good of the people. America wake up vote all these people out! or we are not going to have a country at all!

    March 1, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Jill, California

    Bunning is just a washed up Senator who has NO idea the state of his own state. Cutting off funding, and then trying to say you're making a sacrifice because you had to miss a basketball game is just wrong. The sooner his term is up, but better for the people of Kentucky.

    March 1, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Dano

    I'm sure if the Dems would throw in some tax cuts for those making over a million a year Senator Bunning would be able to support it!

    March 1, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Hang Him High !!

    March 1, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    This is selfish and shortsighted. Put the country first for once, GOP.

    March 1, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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