Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Only One Senator Apparently Thinks Congress Should Fund Its Own Spending

This is exactly the kind of thing that has driven Congress' approval rate down to historical levels:

Liberals are up in arms because Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is blocking a bill that would extend unemployment benefits, extend health insurance subsidies (COBRA), extend highway funding, increase Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians (Doc Fix), extend a temporary "flood insurance" program and continue aid for small business programs.

Gateway Pundit shows the headline:

Bunning's stand has infuriated the democratic-media complex.
Here is today's Yahoo homepage:

But, back to the original article.  As usual, you can't just look at the media's headlines and expect to understand what's really going on.  Heritage explains (my emphasis):

The bill, H.R. 4691, was introduced and passed the House on February 25th by a voice vote. When the bill came up in the Senate, Sen. Bunning objected and requested a vote to offset the estimated $10 billion cost of this bill over the next month. With the two words "I object" Sen. Bunning may save taxpayers $10 billion and Sen. Bunning has provided America a stark example of how Members of Congress refuse to pay for new spending initiatives.

Bunning said of the bill "if we can't find $10 billion to pay for it, we're not going to pay for anything." A month ago, Congress passed something called pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting when they increased the the statutory limit of allowable national debt to $14.29 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase. The current PAYGO rules are loaded with exceptions and loopholes, yet many saw the new PAYGO rules as a step in the right direction to restrain some out of control spending. The problem is that Congress seems to waive the PAYGO rule rather than offset one cent of new spending.

The history of PAYGO is one of complete irresponsibility, as Heritage analysts detail at the link - since these new rules were enacted, unfunded spending has actually accelerated.  In the case of Bunning's objection, here's what it comes down to:

Senator Bunning has proposed an offset of spending to pay for the one month extension of benefits consisting of "the unobligated amounts appropriated or made available under divisions A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5; 123 Stat. 115). $10,267,000,000 is rescinded on a pro rata basis." Sen. Bunning is asking that the Obama Administration cut $10 billion of unspent Stimulus monies out of a $787 billion dollar proposal to continue to pay benefits to unemployed Americans.

Liberals would have you believe that Sen.  Bunning is causing Americans to be furloughed from jobs and to have empty unemployment extension checks. Maybe they should look in the mirror and find ways to pay for this new spending. America is carrying over $12 trillion in debt and Americans should be thanking the one Senator who is educating this nation as to the out of control new spending coming from the federal government at a time when this same Congress refuses pay for it.

Bunning is simply asking Congress to fund this $10 billion out of the unspent 'stimulus' money, and the Left is flipping out and accusing him of throwing American workers off the payrolls himself!  It's ridiculous and dishonest.

Regardless, it is somewhat disheartening that only one Senator apparently feels it's important to actually outline how Congress is going to pay for their spending.  Where is the rest of the GOP??  Hello??  You idiots should be fighting each other to jump on this bandwagon first!  This is the kind of thing that Americans want to see, and is likely to be the primary issue in the next couple elections! 
Bunning has received bomb threats for his actions; he should be getting 40 other Senators standing right there next to him.

It might be time for a few strategic phone calls to some other Republicans in the Senate to kick them in the proverbial pants about this issue.

There's my two cents.

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