(CNN) – CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin reports that Sen. Jim Bunning issued a statement Tuesday evening following Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Senate GOP primary. Bunning, a fellow Republican, is retiring at the end of the year and Paul is running to replace him.
Read Bunning's statement after the jump.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/14/art.bunning0414.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Jim Bunning, pictured, endorsed Dr. Rand Paul Wednesday."]
Washington (CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul got an endorsement Wednesday from the man he is hoping to replace: Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky.
"I know what it takes to stand up for the conservative principles that are needed to make America a better place for our children and grandchildren," Bunning said in a statement. "Dr. Paul shares those same core values and has the courage and conviction necessary to make sure the voices of Kentucky's workers, families, retirees, and children are heard in Washington."
In a swipe at Paul's Republican primary opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Bunning said Paul is the only conservative running in Kentucky who will take a principled stand against "the liberals and establishment politicians that run Washington" and "who believes in traditional values and the rights of the unborn."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/27/art.bunning.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Jim Bunning's decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits was a smack in the face to struggling Americans across the country."](CNN) - Sen. Jim Bunning's decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits was a smack in the face to struggling Americans across the country.
The Kentucky Republican demanded the extension be paid for instead of adding to the deficit, although in the past, he voted for similar extensions that did not include budget offsets.
Bunning relented, but critics still blasted him as tone-deaf, a label stapled to much of Congress over the past year.
While it's "extraordinarily rare" for Congress to be admired by the public, right now, the dissatisfaction with the legislative branch is intensified, said Norman Ornstein, a longtime congressional observer with the American Enterprise Institute.
"It's fairly clear that there's a high anger level that the public has with Congress - higher than we've seen it in a while, and up at levels comparable to what we've had with other wave elections that have brought substantial turnover," Ornstein said.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/03/art.conwayad.conway.jpg caption=" Jack Conway released his first television ad Wednesday."](CNN) - Jack Conway, a Democrat vying for the seat of retiring Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, took aim at the two-term Senator Wednesday in his first television ad.
"Jim Bunning used to be a great pitcher – now he's throwing high and wild, hitting working families where it hurts, stopping unemployment benefits in a recession," Conway says in the ad. "And Rand Paul and Trey Grayson, they are shamefully cheering him on."
Conway, Kentucky's attorney general, is in a race against Kentucky's Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo. Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Rand Paul, the son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, are battling for the Republican nomination.
Sen. Jim Bunning, has been the recipient of criticism from both sides of the aisle over his three-day stalling of legislation to extend unemployment benefits. Bunning lifted his block Tuesday night, allowing the legislation to be approved by the Senate.
Washington (CNN) - Senators have reached agreement to end Sen. Jim Bunning's filibuster of $10 billion in benefits for unemployed workers and road projects, Bunning's office and Democratic officials said.
The agreement, officials said, calls for two votes - one on the package itself and another on a measure to pay for it, as Bunning demanded.
(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls Sen. Jim Bunning's one-man opposition to a jobless benefits extension a filibuster. But Bunning, R-Kentucky, says that's not the case since he's merely blocking a bill before it's introduced. A filibuster is when "you talk and talk and talk," Bunning insists. So who's right?
Fact Check: Is Sen. Jim Bunning's effort to block an unemployment benefit extension a filibuster?
Get the facts and the bottom line after the jump:
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/02/art.bunning.phillies.gi.jpg caption=" Baseball Hall of Famers Sen. Jim Bunning, right, and Robin Roberts appear at a 2009 MLB World Series game."]Washington (CNN) - GOP Sen. Jim Bunning is standing alone - much like a baseball pitcher on the mound - as he continues to block a measure that would extend cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed.
The Kentucky Republican, who is retiring at the end of this term, argues that he doesn't oppose extending the programs; he just doesn't want to add to the deficit.
CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger, who spoke with a Republican in the Senate, said members of the GOP feel Bunning "has the right idea" in questioning how the extension would be paid for, but think "it is the wrong fight for them to wage right now."
The fear from many Republicans, Borger noted, is that it plays right into the Democrats' narrative that Republicans are obstructionists.
Bunning's views, Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said, "do not represent the majority of the Republican caucus." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bunning's legislative tactics "terribly inappropriate" and "very out of line."
The tensions have seemingly taken a toll on Bunning, who is the first member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress.
Bunning, observers have noted, has a history of being abrasive.
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/02/art.boehner0302.gi.jpg caption="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.
(CNN) - Sen. Jim Bunning set off a firestorm in Washington - and across the country - by single-handedly blocking a short-term extension of jobless benefits, demanding that it be paid for instead of adding to the deficit.
The $10 billion package also includes road projects and COBRA health insurance subsidies.
Without it, millions of out-of-work Americans can't continue to apply for federal unemployment benefits, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said up to 2,000 employees at his agency would be sent home without pay.
Bunning, R-Kentucky, says he's not opposed to extending the benefits - he just wants to make sure they're paid for without adding to the deficit.
"If we can't find $10 billion to pay for something that we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of the U.S. Senate," he said. In response, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, asked, "Where
was my friend from Kentucky when we had two wars that were unpaid for during the Bush administration?"
And that got the CNN Fact Check desk wondering: Has Bunning always been so deficit-conscious, or is his hardball stance something new?
Fact Check: Has Bunning voted for other unemployment benefit extensions or programs that increased the deficit?
(Get the facts and the bottom line after the jump)
(CNN) - Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning is still not answering questions about his decision to block a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to millions of jobless Americans.
CNN's Dana Bash and a CNN camera crew again tried to get Bunning to comment more extensively on the controversy but the senator emphatically declined.