March 2nd, 2010
04:46 PM ET
5 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. sonny chapman

    Pay -As- You-Go was scrapped by the 1st Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy Clinton had left him a SURPLUS. Too late for an epiphany you HYPOCRITE.

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

    Of course he has a legitimate arguement. We can't pay something for money we don't have. So, lets tax all the big bonus making executives at AIG and all the banks the taxpayers bailed out to pay for the unemployment benefits for the people these chaps had a big hand in losing their jobs. Done DEAL.

    March 2, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Kate

    Boehner is just part of the Grand NO Party along with Bunning.
    Yes he has a right but the American people also have a right to live a decent life. Where were these two when Bush was President spending money with blank checks......running up trillions of dollars......

    March 2, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Depends on whose saying it...

    "Yea, we're the only ones (Republicans) that can call Bunning crazy".

    Republicans are so special!!! :-))

    March 2, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. sgurdog

    "You know, the Democrats just passed this pay-go legislation..."

    Oh, I see. Jim Bunning voted against PayGo, as did every single one of the GOP senators. Now they want to use it as hypocritical fodder for more obstructionism. More talking out of both sides of their foul mouths.

    Read the legislation as it clearly wasn't meant to be used for emergency spending. Jim Bunning has no point and Boner is just up to his usual stupid human tricks.

    March 2, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. A4H

    Where are they gonna get the funding for $10 billion to extend unemployment benefits? Lets get real here, democrats wanted extension for unemployment but cannot cite where they'll get the money to fund it without borrowing again.

    Well done Senator Bunning, we need MORE people like you in US Senate who uses common sense. We cannot afford even a single penny to be on debt. WE ARE FLAT BROKE AS A NATION! We have Obama and his party to thank for, taking us down to RUIN!

    March 2, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. MsDp

    Well since bunning will be retiring, the American people will be sure to vote you out of office this year. I think we have a legitimate argument and a very good reason to take it out on you!!!!

    March 2, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Former Republican

    BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, Cut their benefits including health care, travel, pensions, money for staff and everything else we pay for. Like the thousands of dollars my family has to pay every April 15. I want my Country back from Republicans.

    March 2, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Nosey Canadians should mind their own business

    We knew the whole party was really behind this,they just wanted Bunning to take the fall for it.Lets just have an old fashioned bench clearing and meet at the pitchers mound for a little discussion shall we.

    March 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Moderate Sean

    Hey Boehner, since this is truly a Senate issue/challenge, why don't you spend more time cleaning up your side of the house, versus stinking your two sense into something that really does not concern you! Are you familiar with the saying that deals with rocks and glass houses....???? Let me take a wild guess on that one.....ummm, NOO!

    March 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Rickster

    Anybody with any sense whatsoever knows that Bunning has a "legitimate argument". How are we going to pay for it? Once again....Obama says one thing(PayGo) and does something entirely different. Don't trust anything Obama says.

    March 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Rich

    Where was Senator Coppertone when the Bush tax cuts brought us from budget surpluses as far as we could see ahead to deficits that we may never rid of. Its amazing that NOW they ( Bunning and Boehner) want to pay attention to the deficit only when we want to help our nations new poor. BTW these tax cuts were passed with reconciliation!!

    March 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. deutschlander

    I would love to see Boehner out of work and out of money
    The Republicans are "UN AMERICAN" and I mean all of them

    March 2, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. Bradley

    Then why did Bunning vote to extend unemployment benefits in 2003 which ran up the deficit under Bush? Why didn't he stand up back then?
    He didn't seem concerned at all about those deficits. In fact, many republicans were not concerned about deficits back then. But of course they are now, now that they are not in power.

    Something is rotten in the city of Denmark,

    March 2, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Sherry N. Calif.

    Boehner is one of the biggest hypo-critcal people we have in Wash today. Senator Bunning is the perfect example of why our system is broken. One man can make millions suffer because he doesn't want to spend anymore money? Please. They created this mess. Congress took George Bush's advice when he was in office, which was SPEND SPEND SPEND. Congress bailed out everyone but the American people.Now a chicken farm? Instead of unemployment beneifits to those need? This is sick and distorted. RECYCLE CONGRESS NOW!
    Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren's Future? Come on, there is no future for them unless Congress can get us out of the hole they put us into. Instead they want to put us into a deeper one by doing NOTHING.

    March 2, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. terry gipson

    just listened to wolf saying this situation with jim bunning and republican obstruction is the same as previous congress. maybe he should look at satistics before making statement. twice as many filibusters last year as any previous year. on pace to double that this year. situation may be similar but level not even close.

    March 2, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Gary

    Whats a good " I'm an ignorant Republican " story without the # 1 Republican jerk stepping in?
    I wonder how many Ohio'ns are suffering because of this nonsense.

    March 2, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. jfs Memhis, Tn

    The issue is that.....PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOSE THERE "MEAGER" ASSISTANCE. Do you feel that they HAVE NOT been looking for jobs to support their families ??? The GOP has a responsibility to AMERICANS...not defending an idiot in your party !!!! You all should be punishing you friend for such a closed minded attitude followed by a SHAMEFUL act. Unlike you folks and your job security...Unemployment gets worse if you cannot stop the slow bleeding of jobs. Good Gosh, how can we let our fellow Americans stand out in the cold ??? You folks are not seriously thinking that you will win in Nov. do you ??? Seriously ??? Where did you folks think you could find the funding for Iraq when you crammed it down the throats of many whom are now with out jobs ??? I'll bet they wish they could have their votes back now !!!

    March 2, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Allison

    Soon the unemployed will be the majority. Soemething these Republican Senators need to keep in mind before spouting off. Karma!

    March 2, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. JDD

    At the beginning of today I was somewhat against the Senator's position. "Wrong time to take a stand" and all of that. Now I'm starting to agree with him.

    Why did this bill have to be an "emergency measure"?

    It's was my impression that the stimulus bill – the $800B one – had as one of its primary purposes the sustainment of unemployment benefits such as COBRA subsidies.

    Have we gone through all of the money dedicated to this purpose already?

    Then is it any wonder the Senator is raising this important question?

    March 2, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. billy

    If the Republicans believed in paying as you go, they wouldn't have started 2 wars without paying for them, created the biggest tax cuts for the rich without paying for them, and would have voted in favor of PayGo last month.

    Republicans just suck.

    March 2, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. Richie in Mass

    Bunning is a moron. He has a point about how it gets paid for but this isn't the issue to take on. People are going to suffer immediately. He isn't running for re election so he is lashing out.

    Ironically this is what Pelosi , Reid and Obama want democrats to do on healthcare. Vote for a bill the voters don't want and not worry about the fact they won't win their election.

    Vote out all incumbents. Bunning and Reid are examples of out of touch , self serving hacks that wouldn't know what a average american goes through.

    March 2, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. eli

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

    Nuff said.

    March 2, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    See, the thing is, we saw ZERO of this fiscal hawkishness over the past 8 years from the GOP:

    -Financing two wars by adding to the deficit? OK!
    -Cutting taxes on the rich and adding to the deficit?OK!
    -Passing a Medicare Prescription Drug plan and adding to the deficit? OK!

    Therefore, their new found concerns over deficits have ZERO value and ZERO credibility.

    March 2, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Mike

    Good for Bunning. Nobody else has the b@lls to do anything about our run away spending. Most of us in the real world have been without jobs and unemployment benefits so suck it up – lifes rough. Maybe the Supreme Leader will come up with some ideas to get unemployment below 10% instead of this healthcare expansion we hear about non-stop. Law school professors make worthless Presidents.

    March 2, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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