In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Bunning: My Obstruction Of Unemployment Extension Made Me Miss My Basketball Game


Unsurprisingly, Bunning couldn't care less about any of it: "I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00 and it's the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they're the only team that has beat Kentucky this year," he said on the Senate floor.

At one point in the discussion, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), asked Bunning to drop his objection. Bunning, according to Politico, had a two word answer for his colleague: "Tough shit."

Under normal circumstances Bunning's obstruction would be a minor headache. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could force a vote to end the debate and the extensions would pass within a couple days. But February 28 is fast approaching, and most Senators are already back in their home states, meaning the benefits will likely not be renewed until the middle of next week.

Bunning's objections led to a series of unusually angry exchanges on the Senate floor late into the evening last night--and Senate Democrats have been blasting Bunning for depriving his own constituents of needed assistance. But so far, to no avail.

Republicans, for their part, may not have given Bunning their blessing. But they're not doing anything to stop him, and instead are blaming Democrats for not scheduling a vote earlier.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at