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. Gary

    I want to see just one Republican say they will vote for a tax increase to pay for ANYTHING. They are the most irresponsible party ever.

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

    I applaud Senator Bunning. This reckless spending has got to stop. A law was passed to pay-as-you-go. Not even a week later do the rules change. Why would someone look for a job when a check arrives every week? This can't go on forever – or is this just another form of welfare? Obama is barking up the wrong tree. All this stimulus is not working. Green Jobs? We need to put a halt to the inexperience of this administration. There is no way we can survive this madness. Now we will have another Health Bill tomorrow.

    March 2, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. ray

    please lord,take these republicans before there time........let this counyry and world be a better place.

    March 2, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    And people really vote for people like this? And we wonder why the US is in the shape that's it's in now? I'll tell you what.

    March 2, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. gwen from Ohio

    john boehner is a moron, Bush tax cut for the wealthy not paid for OK with Boehner, Republican medicare drug program to make drug companies money, not paid for OK with Boehner, 2 wars unpaid for OK with Boehner – but pass an emergency 30 day extension – not a new bill – just an emergency extension and he's upset because its not paid for!!! Hyprocrite!!! Ok to fund the wealthy and cheneys defense contractors but not hard working americans who have lost their jobs and need help!!! WHO VOTES FOR THESE REPUBLICANS UNLESS YOU ARE WEALTHY _ IF YOU DO YOU'RE UNINFORMED.

    March 2, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Daniel

    Has anyone thought to stop and think that he does have a point. He actually has the guts to do what no one else will do and that is we need to stop and think about the spending. But of course the Libs and MSM think money grows on trees and all we have to is print. Bunning should be President.

    March 2, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Shelly

    The millionaire Republican senators continue to obstruct helping the hard hit American people. They DO NOT give a ding to us. It is ALL about them and ONLY them. Why should they care when they have Government paid salaries and health care.???

    March 2, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Republicans is smart in the head area

    More baloney from the GOP. Suddenly they care about deficits after spending the country into the ground with the Iraq War and irresponsible tax cuts.

    March 2, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Greg in MO

    Thank goodness someone in Washington has some principles. Democrats, you need to face the truth that your own party is willing to break the laws that THEY CREATED!
    This would not have been an emergency if the democrats in control would not have been so short sighted. This is just a symptom of the problems with liberalism.
    This man is willing to face the fire alone. He understands the problem and most of us need to as well. We can not help the unemployed people because we, as a nation, are POOR! We cannot give out any money because we have NONE! We have to borrow anything that we give out.

    March 2, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. Allen Hussein

    Bunning and Boehner want to pay for the unemployment extension. I have a great idea, how about a 100% surtax on tanning booths and spray tan oil.

    March 2, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. CHIPS

    How about you guys return your salary for this pass year and forget your retirement benefits, this should help pay for the bill.

    March 2, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Change In America

    Wow, The republican party is coo coo what do they stand for

    March 2, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. RDS

    So..not a single Republican voted for the Pay-Go measure but now they are in favor of it...and when it was suggested to use the returned TARP money they protested that too..

    March 2, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Nini

    Because they are running for re-election. There I answered it for you.

    Now can we move on? Bunning is doing what GOP should have done for the past six months.

    March 2, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. jerseylou

    There's got to be a law against these blood thirsty rats.All they want is to see people suffer for no reason at all. Why don't the people of Kentucky impeach this fool on the grounds he's mentally unstable? Or suffer the consequence of being homeless and hungry.

    March 2, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Donad

    Typical RNC; they want the goodies but don't want to pay for it. No such thing as a free lunch.

    March 2, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. annie against biased news

    Bunning was right on. We can't cover all the money bozo has already spent! SPEND NO MORE!

    March 2, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    These two are another good reason for term limits! Boehner should pronounce his name the way its spelled since it happens to fit. The guy is so impressed with himself its sickening.

    March 2, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. double standard

    Why didn't YOU speak up when Bush was spending all of our money,feeding us lies about Iraq and running this country into the ground ?Where were you Tan Man ? You Lie everytime you open you mouth.. Ohio should be proud of one more idiot from their state.Please retire Boehner...You sir are a disgrace to mankind !!

    March 2, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Allen Hussein

    Come on Harry. Force an up or down vote for cloture. Make the Pugs stand with the senile ex jock and against the American workers on the record. Force the Republicans for the record vote on whether or not they want to deny the extension of unemployment benefits.

    March 2, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. S Callahan

    He does have a point : one he points out the hypocrisy of the Dems siging a bill last week addressing finanical issues; and 2 He is simply saying....Have a way to pay for this before it is passed. Failure to heed #2 certainly will not help those unemployed because it will surely haunt them for 'years' (always look at the long term) . He is right to stand firm on this, with the idea of having a bill passed with accountablity. Keep it clear, he is NOT against extending benifits...only the avenue or committment to how it will be paid for.

    March 2, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Mike Pittsburgh

    This is a prime example why you need term limits for Senators, or a mandatory retirement age. These Republican Senators like Bunning and McCain, who are both in their 70's, are senile and cranky and should be forced to retire, they are too out of it to know how to vote, probably don't know what they are voting on half the time.

    On the other hand, even the much older Democratic Senators like Robert Byrd (92) and Daniel Inouye (85), these guys shouldn't have to retire just because they reach a certain age. They vote with the Democrats, so they know how to vote, they are not the least bit senile. And if they get mad at someone, it isn't because they are old and cranky, it's probably because the other guy deserved it.

    March 2, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Christine

    I have never been unemployed in my life. I am now unemployed, recovering from back surgery, on COBRA, homeless, and struggling to find another job.
    I am ashamed of the lack of embathy and sense of entitlement from our "leaders". I wish they could know some of the horrors that, what, how many millions are going through.
    Funny I seem to remember millions being pledged for various projects, such as infrastructure, hmmmm, no one can get one of these jobs, its all a lot of lies.

    March 2, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. al in memphis

    What is the top postion on a politican staff? The Get-Me-More Face Time manger.
    I didn't know about the pay-as-you-go legislation passed by the Democrats until the Republicans found an opportunity for face time to use it against them.
    I really wish we had this legislation about two wars ago.

    March 2, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Obama did it you liberal morons

    Just following your Mezziah,NObama's orders,now go blame him you gutless liberal morons.Do you liberals pay taxes,you are always ready to spend money.You take care of the welfare queens you adore,and the illegals you endorse.You pay for the welfare queen babies every 9 months and the heathcare of these queens you so endorse.Democrats a real party of welfare in order to buy votes.

    March 2, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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