Republican Asks Bunning to Drop Blockade; Bunning Declines, Talks Debt, ‘Communist China’ and ‘Revolution’

Mar 2, 2010 10:46am

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports:

Let there be no mistake that Sen. Jim Bunning is on the wrong side of many in his party. Republican Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, just asked Bunning on the Senate floor to drop his objection. Collins asked “unanimous consent” that senators vote on the temporary extension to extending unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies and the highway trust fund transfer and the satellite TV extension for a month. “I object,” Bunning said. Later, Bunning said the temporary extension is “paid for not even a little bit.” “The leader of this Senate could put this bill under cloture,” Bunning said. Bunning said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could file cloture on the bill, which takes several days of floor time, and easily pass it. He argued that his obstruction of the bill is not a filibuster, just an objection. Here’s how the Senate historian defines filibuster. “Its important that the people understand there are other sides of this,” Bunning said. He then read letters of support he said have been sent to his office. “Selling the nation’s soul to countries like communist China,” he said, reading from one such letter, is “sheer lunacy.” “Throwing hundreds of billions of dollars so executives on wall street can keep their multibillion-dollar bonuses while others in our society worry about keeping the electricity on and their children fed only helps to move this country closer to a long overdue revolution,” he said, quoting a Robert from Louisville – no last name given. Reid gave a speech about filibusters, calling Bunning’s action a filibuster. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, gave a speech in which he totally ignored what Democrats are calling “The Bunning Blockade.” McConnell talked about Democrats’ plan to pass health reform legislation through the budget process, which requires only a simple majority.

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