FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
There's a great political game of gotcha going on right now in our nation's capital, and it all comes down to one man: retiring Republican Senator Jim Bunning.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/02/art.bunning.jpg caption="Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)"]
The Kentucky lawmaker is the only senator to block an extension of unemployment benefits that could help millions of jobless Americans.
But Bunning says he's against the $10 billion aid package because it isn't paid for and he doesn't want to add to the deficit.
The one-man filibuster is also blocking federal flood insurance, small business loans and an extension of federal highway funding - which means more than 2,000 workers are on paid furloughs.
So far it's been pretty much radio silence from Bunning's fellow Republicans.
And Democrats are loving it - pointing out that Bunning didn't make such noise under the Bush administration when there were two unpaid wars along with Bush's tax cuts. The Democrats are challenging their GOP colleagues to come out and defend what Bunning is doing.
After all, the Republicans are making hay railing about Democrats spending the country into bankruptcy. With all the preaching of fiscal conservatism - they should support Bunning's move to stop unemployment benefits if there is no money to pay for them, right? The Republicans probably wish he would just go away.
Meanwhile Bunning isn't exactly acting like a statesman. After one Democrat criticized his move on the Senate floor, Bunning reportedly muttered "tough ****." And the senator gave the middle finger to a reporter who tried to question him.
Here’s my question to you: Is Sen. Jim Bunning right to hold up unemployment benefits because there's no money to pay for them?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
No money? When did that ever prevent the Republicans from passing legislation that they had no way of paying for? What a hypocrite! And a jerk too! There were other ways to make his point instead of on the backs of the unemployed.
Perry in Council Bluffs, Iowa writes:
A senator who is trying to follow the rule of law that he and the rest of Congress pay now, that is the real headline.
Minesh in Troy, Michigan writes:
Senator Bunning is right. He can stand on principle as he is not running for re-election. He is basically calling the bluff of the Democrats to not add to the deficit. If Democrats cannot find $10 billion from the stimulus funds, how will they fund $1 trillion health care reform monstrosity?
Leta in Chicago writes:
Funny how no one objected to giving trillions to the big banks and AIG. I guess Main Street really isn't important. We should all just shut up and give the rich what little money we have and die off peacefully so we won't bother them anymore.
Of course he's right! I'm in a debt-management program now and have been for 16 months. Our government should do the same!
According to this administration, he is the devil for doing so. There is nothing wrong for him to want to know where the money is coming from... it's called being responsible. The claims of it being an emergency situation are blown out of proportion. People on unemployment know their benefits are expiring and should be prepared for that. It isn't up the government to support everyone on a permanent basis.
Plenty of money left in the stimulus package to pay for it. Oh yeah, I forgot, that's to buy votes closer to November. Our government is a joke. All of them!