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Republicans Setting Filibuster Record

By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 01 March 2010

Link from MSNBC. So is this what the GOP wants to be known for? Bunning seems to be the symbolic leader of the proud obstructionism engrained in Congressional Republicans right now. At what point does this backfire? I think it's always been a dangerous tightrope, but with jobs and unemployment benefits on the line-held up by one man and one power-hungry procedure known as the filibuster, we may see the anger and backlash come out in force.

WASHINGTON - The filibuster — tool of obstruction in the U.S. Senate — is alternately blamed and praised for wilting President Barack Obama's ambitious agenda. Some even say it's made the nation ungovernable.

Maybe, maybe not. Obama's term still has three years to run.

More certain, however: Opposition Republicans are using the delaying tactic at a record-setting pace.

"The numbers are astonishing in this Congress," says Jim Riddlesperger, political science professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

The filibuster, using seemingly endless debate to block legislative action, has become entrenched like a dandelion tap root in the midst of the shrill partisanship gripping Washington.

...Given recent use of the filibuster by minority Republicans and the party's success in snarling the legislative process in this Congress, Democrats say the minority has gone way beyond just protecting its interests.

The frequency of filibusters — plus threats to use them — are measured by the number of times the upper chamber votes on cloture. Cloture is a Senate procedure to end debate so other business can be brought to the floor. Such votes test the majority's ability to hold together 60 members to break a filibuster.


In the 110th Congress of 2007-2008, there were a record 112 cloture votes. In this session of Congress, the 111th — for all of 2009 and the first two months of 2010 — the number already exceeds 40.

The most the Democrats have ever use the filibuster was 58 times in the 106th Congress of 1999-2000.



Republican Whip Senator Trent Lott in a Roll Call article dated April 18, 2007:

“The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail ... so far it’s working for us.”

How proud they must be! Nothing like holding up the people's business.

They didn't earn an 11% approval rating for nothing!

Oh wait, maybe they did.

In all fairness, even the GOP is angry and frustrated with Bunning.  He doesn't care...he isn't running again.

even the GOP is angry and frustrated with Bunning. 

link please

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting "because people are being paid even though they're not working."... And the same thing with the COBRA extension and the other extensions here," said Kyl.

 so out of touch about the working class

The picture that comes to my mind is the ghost in Scrooge who had the starving children under his robes.

And if they go immensely deeper in debt, can't feed their kids, might lose their home because exhausting job searches yield little results, well that's just pure capitalism at work and someone  needs to pick themselves up by the bootstraps...

His theory would only hold water if there was enough jobs available and not enough people to fill them because their happy making less than that job on unemployment. Not like there's a downed economy or anything... 

I swear I saw an article today that said GOP leadership was supporting Bunning, which kind of shocked me. How can this be a winning stance in any sense? It is so hard to find a job these days. Often there are hundreds or thousands of applicants for one position. They are trying to stereotype the unemployed as lazy, greedy con artists trying to game the system. The people I know in the unemployed category could not be any further from that description. I expect such rhetoric from someone like Rush Limbaugh-but from an elected official? Maybe he just feels he can get away with it because he is not running for re-election, but can his colleagues who are running for re-election really support him publically? I heard Bunning is losing patience with the media and flipped one of them the bird today. How dare they call him out on this? This guy is a real class act-wow.

I've heard that the Republicans will vote for cloture later in the week because they realize that this filibuster cannot last forever.  However, as Bunning is driving the Democrats crazy, they'll play along with it for a few days.  I think the man is suffering from Alzheimer's and his case has resulted in his hating the entire world. 

I wish the man had never got involved in national politics, and I could remember him for the things he did when I was 11 years old.  Pitching a perfect game on Father's Day, winning his own shut-out 1-0 with a homerun, and being the #1 pitcher on the Philadelphia Phillies in that ill-fated year of 1964.

Nine democrats who originally voted no on the healthcare bill, might change their votes? I won't hold my breath, but I'd be glad if any of them show signs of having a spine.

Senate votes 78-19 to approve extended unemployment benefits

Voted Nay

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Coburn (R-OK)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Johanns (R-NE)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sessions (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)

Hey, where's that new guy, oh what's his name? You know, the guy with the truck. Oh, yeah, Brown. Did they forget his name on that list? Hmmm...he is really not working out to be the "dream obstructionist" the right wingers had hoped for, is he? Better get him in line, commanders!

The above idiots can go explain their votes to the "lazy people who just love applying for extended benefits week after week" in their districts. They can tell them to stop "faking" that they really want a job by putting out hundreds of resumes and applications each week.

Hey, where's that new guy, oh what's his name? You know, the guy with the truck.

President Barack Obama signs H.R. 4691, Temporary Extension Act of 2010, in his private office in the residence of the White House, March 2, 2010.

So McConnell voted against it after criticizing Bunning for holding it up... What.An.Idiot

Stephen talks about the Bunning hold up and the eventual caving in.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jim Bunning Ends Filibuster
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Skate Expectations

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