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In The News: The Impact of Republican Senator Jim Bunning's Obstruction

Baltimore Sun — 4,700 Marylanders to Bunning: Thanks a lot, senator

“The Senate failed to pass a short-term extension of unemployment compensation and a COBRA subsidy this past weekend, thanks to the action by a single Republican senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky.

“The Department of Labor this morning released state-by-state figures of the number of out-of-work individuals who will lose unemployment benefits because of Bunning’s move. In Maryland, 4,700 fewer unemployed workers won't be eligible for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 13…”

New York Daily News — Jim Bunning Costs 8,000 NYers Checks Today

“Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning reportedly flipped the bird at reporters today, but 8,000 New Yorkers are among those who feel he did a lot worse to them.

“Bunning's single-handed obstruction of an emergency extension of unemployment benefits last week cost all of those people their checks.

“'As of yesterday, 8,000 New Yorkers are left without benefits,' said Leo Rosales, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor. 'What it means is, for the days they're out, there is no money coming in…. You can imagine the worry they have right now.'”

Detroit Free Press (Michigan) — No checks for jobless because of 1 man

“The federal government began Monday to furlough workers, while hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans braced for an end to their unemployment checks and health insurance benefits while doctors saw fees for treating Medicare patients decline…

“Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky. single-handedly blocked a bill last week that would have provided a short-term extension for federal funding programs that expired March 1…”

WLWT, NBC Channel 5 (Ohio) — Furloughs Ordered After Bunning Blocks Bill

“U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block a government spending bill last week was having ripple effects Monday, as 2,000 federal workers were furloughed…

“If the bill doesn't pass, 24,000 people in Ohio and 14,000 people in Kentucky could run out of benefits next week.”

Herald Leader (Kentucky) — Editorial: Bunning's callous grandstanding

“As long as Republicans were in charge, Sen. Jim Bunning was OK with trading a surplus for a deficit. He voted to put two wars, tax cuts and a Medicare drug benefit on the nation’s credit card.

“Now that Republicans are no longer in charge, Bunning is drawing the line on deficit spending. He’s doing it in a way that shows callous contempt for the more than one in 10 working Kentuckians whose jobs disappeared in the economic meltdown.

“We’ve become accustomed to bizarre, egocentric behavior from Bunning. So it wasn’t all that surprising when he single-handedly blocked an unemployment benefits extension for a million people, including 119,230 in Kentucky, whose benefits run out this year. About 14,000 Kentuckians will exhaust their benefits in two weeks without the extension.”

Courier Journal (Kentucky) — Senator Jim Bunning blocks effort to extend unemployment benefits

“…U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning on Monday once again held up legislation that extends unemployment and health insurance benefits to roughly a million out-of-work Americans…

“…And it angered John Bernard of Louisville, who said he’s been receiving unemployment since November 2008, when he was laid off from a construction job. He called Bunning a hypocrite for taking his Congressional salary.

“'He’s getting his check every week, no matter how it gets paid,' Bernard said…”

Las Vegas Sun (Nevada) — Editorial: Let them eat cake

“Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky used Senate rules to stop a bill last week that would have extended unemployment and health benefits to more than 1 million Americans. The bill also would have provided funding for transportation projects across the nation.

“The bill had bipartisan support, but Bunning, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, said he was concerned about the deficit. He did not, however, suggest how Americans could get the help they need in the interim.”

WJLA, ABC News Channel 7 (Washington, DC) — Senate Impasse Halts Construction Projects, Benefits

“…Contractor Kiris Powell said, 'They told us that we had to evacuate the building by noon today and that we had to cease all government related operations.'

“A total of 2,000 Department of Transportation employees were furloughed and all funding for contractors and any transportation projects were cut off due to one man: U.S. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky…”

Wall Street Journal — One Senator Holds Up Bill, in New Level of Gridlock

“The Senate tied itself in knots Monday as it tried to get around a single lawmaker’s objection to a spending bill, a showdown that has become emblematic of capital’s partisan gridlock.

“Sen. Jim Bunning (R., Ky.) again blocked a $10 billion bill that would have extended unemployment benefits and other programs after halting its progress last week.

“And on Monday, the impact of his blockade started biting, with the expiration of benefits to 100,000 people and the suspension of 41 transportation projects across the country…”

Washington Post — Sen. Jim Bunning puts brakes on Transportation workers

“…His action came like a high, inside fastball at the heads of 2,000 Department of Transportation workers. They were furloughed Monday because Bunning’s deed halted their pay. Ironically, if the furloughs continue, those employees could need the unemployment benefits and health coverage that also are being held up…

“'I’ve tried to contact Sen. Bunning’s office several times, and I finally found an office in Lexington,' said Johnsen, who, like other employees, makes it clear that he is not speaking for his agency. 'When I got through, I informed the staffer I wanted to leave a message to the senator about what I do with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, so he has an idea of the impact of his actions. His staffer hung up on me numerous times before I could explain. . . . I never was able to explain the important work I do in preventing large truck and bus fatalities on our nation’s roadways.'”…

McClatchy News — Who Really Gets Hurt When GOP's Bunning Blocks This Bill?

Who Gets Hurt

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