February 27th, 2010
09:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Lone senator blocks unemployment benefit extensions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/27/art.bunning0227.gi.jpg caption="Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, led a spirited Senate debate with Democrats over the benefits package - at one time cursing at another senator on the floor."]
Washington (CNN) - The Senate adjourned Friday without approving extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed after a lone senator blocked swift passage due to his insistence that Congress first pay for the $10 billion package.

Retiring Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, led a spirited Senate debate with Democrats over the issue - at one time cursing at another senator on the floor. Bunning said he doesn't oppose extending the programs - he just doesn't want to add to the deficit.

According to two Democratic aides on the Senate floor Thursday night, Bunning muttered "tough s-" as Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, criticized Bunning's stance on the package.

An aide to Merkley said the senator didn't hear the remark. A spokesman for Bunning said he was aware of the reports about the senator's language but didn't have a comment.

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More on CNNMoney.com: Jobless benefits start ending Sunday

Filed under: Economy • Jim Bunning • Senate
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Yougottaloveit

    I'll bet "Retiring" senator Bunning would not have voted against this if he was not retiring...

    February 27, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. gr

    Emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to cut costs, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) said last night.

    So what is new here. The Republicans have no love for the poor and the middle class.

    February 27, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. leonardofru

    And one lone Democrat President has dropped his linen and is crapping on us.

    February 27, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Bob of Lompoc

    This is a surprise, or "news"? This is The Republican party as I know it, represented by this heartless creep, a poor loser, who now, after the Republicans of KY have dumped him out of the Senatorial Primary, takes vengenence, not against those who sacked him, but against the unemployed and health uninsured. Have another drink Senator. It will soon be your last, as Senator, thank God.

    February 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Votethemallout...

    How about if we, the taxpayers, put off Bunnings retirement benefits until we come up with a way to pay for them..also goes for his insurance benefits since he will no longer be a gov't employee...

    February 27, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. j

    This is a SHAM. One individual should NOT be able to hold up important legislation. Does this person care at all about the millions of unemployed that will benefit from this legislation.

    I've moved further to the left as a result of the Conservative's actions over the past year. I now believe that the government owes every citizen a job/work, food, shelter, clothing, education, training, transportation, medical care and other basic services. When the government cuts off programs like sex education, access to birth control, abortions, etc, then the government should be responsible for the cost of raising those unwanted children, AND not just the unwanted ones but every child born in the USA.

    This haphazard system we call democracy is not an intelligent system. We can do better than this.

    February 27, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Liberal4Obama

    The GOP is most definitely out of touch with regular Americans, they only care about the welfare of their corporate friends

    February 27, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. JLM

    If he cared about the deficit, why did he support a trillion dollar unjust war.

    February 27, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Jack

    Simple solution. Bunning does not get his pay check until the unemplyed get their checks. Of course, he's probably richer than God so it wouldn't matter. i know a few people who have been unemployed for a year or two and are just making it. Without an unemployment check they screwed. And they are looking very hard for work. When Bunning goes to Church on Sunday what is his conversation with God? Those who have should not give to those who have not? This is not Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. This is Mr. Potter (from It's a Wodnerful Life) goes to Washington.

    February 27, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Hows that nonunion made Toyota workin for ya?

    He was a scumbag as a pitcher too.

    February 27, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Kyle Muncie, Indiana

    Is he proud of himself? Does he enjoy seeing unemployed people suffer?

    February 27, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |