Besides cutting off aid to the long-term unemployed, Bunning – who is not running for reelection – singlehandedly blocked healthcare benefits for the jobless, forced the layoff of 2,000 federal employees, stopped a continuation of federal flood insurance, and left doctors facing a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments.Well, at least he's not, like, a total hypocrite about it...oh wait:
The point Bunning said he was trying to make – that the benefits extension was unfunded, added to the federal deficit, and violated recent pay-as-you-go budget rules adopted by the Senate – was overshadowed by his own lack of politesse, and Senate Republicans’ silence in the face of it.
Last week, Politico reported that when Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley implored him to stop the filibuster, Bunning replied “Tough shit” to his Senate colleague. On Monday, ABC News reported that when one of its producers approached Bunning as he was headed for a Senate elevator, the senator said, “I’m not talking to anybody,” and shot the finger to the newsman.
U.S. Senator Jim Bunning today announced that legislation to extend temporary unemployment benefits for an additional five months has passed the United States Congress. The legislation, which was unanimously approved yesterday by the Senate and by a vote of 416-4 today in the House, would also provide a temporary 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for all individuals who exhaust their traditional benefits before June 1, 2003.Ah, that's better. Good old Senate, where freedom goes to die.