March 2nd, 2010
04:46 PM ET
4 years ago

Top House Republican says Bunning's got 'a legitimate argument'

Bunning 'has a right as a senator to express his will and he has,' House Minority Leader Boehner said Tuesday.
Bunning 'has a right as a senator to express his will and he has,' House Minority Leader Boehner said Tuesday.

Washington (CNN) - The top Republican in the House is defending Kentucky GOP Senator Jim Bunning's decision to hold up legislation that includes an extension of jobless benefits until an agreement can be reached on how to pay for the $10 billion bill.

"I think Senator Bunning has - he's got a legitimate argument that he's making," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "You know, the Democrats just passed this pay-go legislation and not – not even a week after the President signed it into law they want to exempt the first bill that comes across the Senate floor from the – from the regulations. And so it's - and he has a right as a senator to express his will and he has."

Bunning, who is retiring at the end of this year, said he doesn't oppose extending the jobless benefits program; he just doesn't want to add to the deficit. Democrats argue that, because the legislation is an emergency measure, the bill should not be subject to new rules requiring that legislation not expand the deficit.

Boehner initially dodged a question on Bunning, telling reporters that he has an understanding with his counterpart in the upper chamber, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

"I have an agreement with Senator McConnell. I don't deal with the Senate, and he doesn't deal with the House," he said.

Boehner did not answer questions about why House Republicans agreed unanimously last Thursday to the 30-day extension of the jobless benefits.


Filed under: Jim Bunning • John Boehner
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Deb (Long Island)

    It only figures it would be this moron to agree with Senator Bunning. Perhaps we should take both their salaries and put it in a pool to help pay for the deficit.

    March 2, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Pedro

    Yep, and the Nazi's had a legitimate reason to invade and hold captive the rest of Europe. These guys are the worst of the worst. They are an infection that we need to rid ourselves of or die from their constant insidious maelstrom.

    March 2, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Mickey

    blah blah blah...the newest domestic terrorist organization: The GOP

    March 2, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans put Bunning up to this because he's retiring and he's got nothing to lose.

    Bunning's blocking of these benefits is despicable. And Boehner's defense is equally despicable.

    Just when you think the GOP can sink no lower – they do!

    GOP = Party Before Country

    March 2, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Moderate

    It's clear these people have absolutely no interest in helping everyday Americans. All they care about is spewing talking points and regaining power. They're playing with fire here and they're going to get burned.

    March 2, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Funny, Bunnster voted against pay as you go. He's just another neoclown hypocrite who wants America to fail so that the ignorant "real Americans" will vote his party of fear back into power. Have a nice day!

    March 2, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Mike

    What happened to Pay as You Go. I guess Obama's forgot all about that. Bunning is finaly standing up for his country. I wish other's would care as much.

    March 2, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. get real

    He should have had this same argument when he was voting FOR the unfunded wars, the tax cuts for the wealthy and Bush's medicare plan. All of those things also raised the deficit. Now that unemployed people are without a safety net, he's developed a fiscally conservative side. I'm not buyin' it!

    March 2, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. jimmy

    these gop are a bunch of back stabbing hyprocrites..i wish they would all lose their benefits and suffer like the rest..they make me sick and very sorry for our country!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 2, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Chad

    I wonder what kind of deficit spending monstrosity the GOP will initiate once THEY are in control of Congress. Another war? More welfare checks for the rich? Flaming hypocrites.

    March 2, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. David

    John Boehner... where was your mouth when Georgie-Boy was running the deficiet up to the heavens?

    You're another lame-brain...

    March 2, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Boehner is full of bullcrap just as Sen. Bunning. The revolution is coming and it won't be from the extreme right.

    March 2, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Watchdog

    Anybody see Jay Leno last night?....2 Dick Cheney jokes....3 George Bush jokes.....0 Barrack Obama jokes...I see the GE/NBC/Jeffrey Immelt editorial policy has been explained to Jay!
    I'm sure Johnny Carson wouldn't put up with that!

    March 2, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    It is indeed legitimate to argue that a recently passed pay-go rule should not be ignored for this program, no matter how necessary or popular. But the hypocrisy of spendthrift Repellicans claiming sudden conversion to financial discipline is stunning.

    March 2, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Craig

    WHy has the GOP become the party of NO

    No ideas
    No solutions
    No working for the American people.

    March 2, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Once Upon a Horse

    wasn't pay as you go at first a Republican idea? It was ok until President Obama agreed with it. But as usual the ones that agree with the KY senator seemed to be gainfully employed and not ione of the over 2000 that were laid-off the past few days. That's right wing empathy for you. Go ahead America and put the GOP back in power this November.

    March 2, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    And the moral of this story is?????? People are still unemployed and cannot collect unemployment insurance!!!

    This is also a step to KEEP jobs!!!! And yet, the RepubliCAN'Ts are spreading around with their constituents that President Obama should concentrate more on JOBS....

    RepubliCAN'Ts speak with a FORK tongue!!!

    March 2, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    GOP: party of hypocrites.

    March 2, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Mike

    LOL WOW GOP Try to clean up another of your NO and GOT ZERO PLANS!!!!

    March 2, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Marc

    Even in the remore possibility that Bunning had 'a legitimate argument', which is not the case, he should have found a better way to defend his point of view than use obscene acts.

    March 2, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. NC

    Playing games just like on the playground. Anyone that votes for a republican needs a mental evaluation.

    March 2, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Me

    Of course the Dems had no intention of actually honoring PayGo. It was a political stunt from the beginning.

    March 2, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. T'SAH from Virginia

    FIRST OF ALL – if Bunning feels that extending unemployment should be PAID FOR and NOT added to the deficit – then what is going to happen if this IS NOT PASSED and everyone who can no longer receive unemployment go on WELFARE!!!!!!! Who pays for it then??????

    RepubliCAN'Ts have a problem!!!! Case and POINT!!!

    March 2, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Tom in Va

    Does the GOP have NO limits to their hyprocisy!?

    They voted in a large perscription drug plan without a WORD about paying for it. Not a single word of debate that added BILLIONS to the deficits. These guys are truly without moral bounds.

    They'll let the country BURN in order to make a point. Shame on them ALL!

    March 2, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. ran

    Yes Boehner please Aline yourself with this guy. Should make it even easier for the people of Ohio to vote you out come Nov. 2010.

    Not that they need any more reasons to get ride of you.

    March 2, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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