Friday, February 26, 2010
As the Senate was preparing to further extend unemployment benefits as a part of a larger package today, Sen. Jim Bunning single-handily killed the measure. He insisted that the Senate must agree first how to pay for the package, even if it means that over a million unemployed workers could lose their benefits if the Senate can't get it passed in the next few weeks. That's unlikely, as the Senate can hold a recorded vote next week (this was a roll-call, which any one Senator can block).
Identifying how Congress will pay for something (e.g., PAYGO) is obviously a significant issue, but why he picked this time and this bill to hold the line (as opposed to, say, anytime during the eight years that Bush was president) is perplexing. No doubt not running for re-election helps. Also, he was apparently miffed that work in the Senate prevented him from watching the Kentucky-South Carolina basketball game.