There are very few people in Washington willing to admit the obvious fact that the government has run out of taxpayer money and we need to stop spending. Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, however, is one of the few who tried to stand for fiscal discipline only to be railroaded into submission by the Democrats and some members of his own Republican Party as well.
Bunning had been seeking an up-or-down vote on actually paying for legislation in the Senate which temporarily extends unemployment insurance and a host of other provisions. Since he was not getting that vote, Bunning held up the bill since not a single Democrat could explain how we could pay for it other than borrowing more and going further into debt. Bunning’s reasoning was principled in that he knows the government does not have the money to continue throwing it at more temporary fixes and spending. Of course, the liberals went nuts over this since they do not believe in a principled stand against government waste.
The whole controversy started when ABC News tried to heckle Bunning as he got on a Senators-only elevator:
Bunning had been on record stating exactly why he was holding up this bill, he just wanted Harry Reid to explain how we would pay for it. ABC News made him out to be the bad guy when in truth, Bunning was standing up for every single taxpaying American watching their country go down the deficit tubes.
Bunning released the following statement:
U.S. Senator Jim Bunning issued the following statement after Senate Democrats used a procedural gimmick to oppose the Bunning amendment that would have paid for the unemployment extension legislation and other federal programs.
“Democrats tonight showed their true colors by going back on their word on the agreement I had reached with Majority Leader Reid to have an up-or-down vote on my amendment to fully pay for the unemployment extension and other federal programs. Instead, Senate Democrats used a procedural gimmick so they would not have to vote on my pay-for amendment. What are they so afraid of?
“For too long Congresses controlled by both Republican and Democrat majorities have not done a good enough job of controlling the spending of the taxpayers’ money. My stand over the last couple of days was not against those Kentuckians who are on the unemployment line. I support the underlying legislation and support those who are out of work and need a helping hand. What I do not support is the hypocrisy displayed by Senate Democrats. Just over a month ago Democrats passed pay-go legislation and then turned around and waived it for the next two major pieces of legislation that were considered by the Senate. What was the point of passing pay-go legislation? If Democrats continue to ignore their own rules I will oppose future legislation that is not paid for.”
I applaud Senator Bunning for the stand he took even if he could not hold out against the forces at will.
Shame on anyone who voted for this bill as it simply adds more to the debt and does not provide any real solutions, merely temporary spending on a long term issue. Bunning has stated he will not run for re-election in 2010 but that’s a shame since we need more voices like his representing us.