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NYT: GOP Shames Bunning Into Folding

From the DNC’s house organ, the New York Times:

Senator Relents, and Jobless Bill Passes


March 2, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Senate ended a politically charged impasse over unemployment pay on Tuesday night, voting to allow jobless Americans in danger of exhausting their benefits another month of aid.

The bipartisan 78 to 19 vote in favor of the extended compensation came after Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, dropped his objection to extending unemployment compensation in exchange for a largely symbolic vote on paying for the aid.

The measure, which now goes to President Obama, should also allow 2,000 federal workers furloughed from the Department of Transportation to return to work as early as Wednesday and construction to resume on dozens of highway projects. Senators now will begin debating in earnest a much broader bill that would extend the safety net programs through the end of the year

After holding up the bill since last Thursday, Mr. Bunning retreated under pressure from members of his own party as well as intense criticism from Democrats, who had threatened to keep the Senate in session while lawmakers unloaded on the Kentucky Republican. The agreement essentially allowed Mr. Bunning the vote that he could have had last week but refused…

Mr. Bunning’s about-face came after his fellow Republicans began to air their own concerns about how the Senate blockade had the potential to damage their political brand while also having a direct impact on their constituents.

“With Mr. Bunning’s battle quickly becoming a national cause célèbre, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and Mr. Bunning’s home-state colleague, made clear earlier that Republicans were trying to end the stalemate.

And Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican colleague of the conservative Mr. Bunning, joined Democrats in trying to force the measure through, calculating that perhaps a plea from a fellow Republican would get him to change his position.

“When I was home this weekend, I talked to constituents who expressed their utter bafflement that Congress could not proceed on something that has widespread support,” Ms. Collins said.

“While trying to blame Democrats for mishandling the entire matter, other Republicans also distanced themselves from Mr. Bunning, whom Democrats were holding up as the embodiment of what they say has been a maddening pattern of Republican obstruction in the Senate.

“This is one senator,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a chief political strategist for Senate Republicans. “This does not represent the position of the caucus.”

Other party officials said that while the Bunning fight was not helpful, it probably would not do serious damage as long as it ended rapidly.

Republicans were not just unhappy that the back-and-forth was allowing Democrats and editorial writers around the country to portray them as heartless curmudgeons, denying jobless aid to struggling Americans while Mr. Bunning complained that late-night debate was preventing him from watching a college basketball game

If you go to the link and read entire 888 word article you will notice that the New York Times does not see fit to mention the word ‘PAYGO’ once.

Indeed, Mr. Bunning’s concerns about funding this additional $10 billion dollars in spending are barely touched on at all.

Instead, The Times concentrates on portraying the Senator as some kind of lunatic fringe kook who even embarrassed his (lunatic fringe) Republicans.

It’s almost as if the New York Times has a bias against the GOP — and telling their readers the truth.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “NYT: GOP Shames Bunning Into Folding”

  1. BillK says:

    Doesn’t matter, the AP reports he (and the GOP) were “forced” to pass the bill anyway.

    From a jubilant Associated Press:

    Senate votes unemployment benefits, highway funds

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate on Tuesday passed a $10 billion measure to maintain unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and provide stopgap funding for highway programs after a holdout Republican dropped stalling tactics that had generated a Washington firestorm.

    Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning had been holding up action for days but conceded after pressure intensified with Monday’s cutoff of road funding and extended unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless.

    Bunning wanted to force Democrats to find ways to finance the bill so that it wouldn’t add to the deficit, but his move sparked a political tempest that subjected Republicans to withering media coverage and cost the party politically. Bunning’s support among Republicans was dwindling, while Democrats used to being on the defensive over health care and the deficit seemed to relish the battle.

    The bill passed by a 78-19 vote. It passed the House last week and President Barack Obama is likely sign the bill into law quickly so that 2,000 furloughed Transportation Department workers can go back to work on Wednesday.

    Doctors faced the prospect of a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments, and federal flood insurance programs had lapsed with Monday’s expiration of an earlier stopgap bill that passed late last year.

    Tuesday’s action will provide a month-long extension of the expired programs to give Congress time to pass a yearlong – and far more costly – fix that’s also pending.

    Without the legislation, about 200,000 jobless people would have lost federal benefits this week alone, according to the liberal-leaning National Employment Law Project. Jobless people normally get 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and 20 more weeks in states with higher unemployment rates. The legislation extends several additional layers of benefits added since 2008 because of the stubborn recession.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Bunning objected to a request by Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a fellow Republican, to pass a 30-day extension of jobless benefits and other expired measures.

    When asked Tuesday if Bunning was hurting the Republican Party, Collins said, “He’s hurting the American people.”


    Thank you Susan Collins for reminding me why I will never again donate to the GOP.

    I wonder among whom Bunning “cost the party politically.” The idiots who keep re-electing Collins and Snowe?

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    It isn’t “shamed” if you know you did no wrong.
    It is pressured, hectored, intimidated, threatened, hassled, forced, etc.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It’s probably this style of “reporting” that has the NYT finances in such great shape. What amazes me the most is that every hard core New Yorker is the picture of suspicion. That is, they take NOTHING on face value. They are a cynical, aggressive lot who strike me as the type who really wouldn’t believe the NYT article about Bunning without at least some form of evidence. So it would surprise me that they just take the article on face value alone. It’s probably the rest of the Times’ readers on subscription elsewhere who might swallow all this hook, line and sinker.

    But then, I remain ever hopeful that people can reason.

  4. proreason says:

    He relented because he made his point.

    And made it quite well, since a 3rd class newspaper like the Slimes feels compelled to report spin and lie about it.

  5. BillK says:

    There’s an AP article that slanted much the same way that I posted here:


    It doesn’t mention PAYGO at all, either (big shock.)

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