[Guest post by DRJ]
Senator Jim Bunning has single-handedly halted extensions of unemployment insurance and Cobra health benefits for some unemployed Americans. He says the government should first say how it plans to pay for the extensions:
“Bunning is furious about increased spending in the Senate – but he’s waging a lonely battle to stop it. The senior senator from his state, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, with whom he has a frosty relationship, is not backing him up. If he refuses to relent, Democrats will have to file cloture to shut down debate, pushing back final action until next week.
But Democrats are eager to have this fight; even though they know that Bunning remains largely by himself, they know that hammering away at the Kentucky Republican will drill home their argument that the GOP is out to obstruct progress.”
Bunning did share some colorful language with his irritated colleagues:
“In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.
“Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.”
It’s not quite the equal of General McAuliffe’s “Nuts” in response to a German surrender demand, but it’s the same sentiment.