American Morning

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March 2nd, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Senator ripped for stalling jobless benefits

(CNN) – One senator's decision to block legislation is having an immediate impact on hundreds of thousands of lives.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) has staged a one-man filibuster that's holding up unemployment benefits and closing down job sites. The retiring senator says he's for the extension, but says he wants Congress to find a way to pay for it first.

Ultimately, millions of people could lose their benefits. Thousands have already been cut off, including Linda Calvin, a case worker for the Head Start program who was let go last May. She joined us on Tuesday's American Morning.

Read more: Democrats rip GOP senator for blocking jobless benefits extension

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Tom

    I heard a CNN guest commentator this morning discuss the unemployment rate amongst college graduates being around 4.9%. If the unemployment rate is around 10%, then that's half. So, the other half is made up of non-college graduates. That's not a promotion for people to get a college degree and put themselves $35,000 in debt. I am a college graduate who's been out of work for 13 months. My brother is in the same situation, and my father-in-law, who has every engineering degree you can get, can't find work. If the unemployment rate for college graduates is lower, it's because college graduates are working for Olive Garden, McDonald's, and Loew's. I would like to see the real unemployment number discussed on your network: under-employed, displaced or unfairly terminated, the unemployed who've lost their benefits, and the people who've given up looking. The country is entitled to the truth.

    March 3, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  2. inde

    Funny how republicans get a conscience when the working class is in dire straights but has no problem spending when the rich "need" a tax cut. Would love the dems to show even more guts and raise the minimum wage to 12 an hr. Would also love CNN to do a story on how employers are taking advantage of this economy by offerring the lowest wage; where you do three jobs; for the price of one. This is a huge non-reported story. Cut the hrs or release hard workers to pay for people who will work for minium or below that wage.

    March 3, 2010 at 4:09 am |
  3. ronvan

    Our forefathers are probably turning over in their graves. We don't have enough problems in this country, now we have 1 child that can affect millions. If WE the people continue to take this "@#$@" from these kids we elected then it is OUR fault! Vote all of them out and start over, how worse could we be?

    March 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  4. Marvin Margolin

    Some of the "only $10,000,000,000" might come from eliminating the sugar subsidy, and corn subsidy. Oh, I almost forgot, corn is grown in Kentucky.

    March 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  5. Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor

    That politician was a two faced double talking back stabber. Where will the money come from he asks yet sends billions upon billions to upper levels of Industry and Finance. We, the People, are the base and in need of financial support and security as well yet we see who that politician serves do we not.

    March 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Cathy Marks

    Why doesn't Bunning suggest that he and his other Republican senators give up their healthcare that the government is paying for so that that money can be used for the unemployment extensions? How does he propose the people who are out of work -- and a large majority have been out since Bush's reign. How does he propose the unemployed, through no fault of their own, pay for food and healthcare for their children? Shame on you, Senator! At least we are seeing the Republicans' usual no action plan to continue NOT to help the people. You certainly have made a name for yourself and confirmed the Republicans don't care about the people. Again, Shame on You!

    March 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Brian Willis

    How long does this senator & the rest our worthless congress think things can go on like this ? They have sold all of us out and are looking out for their own butts, just a matter of time before those who have nothing will go after those who have it all at . " Your Bama" is a true disappointment to us all, he has lost his focus and made the super rich " really really rich" & EVERYONE else really really poor. "When he ran for CHANGE, I didnt think he meant "change for a dollar" because thats what we are living on.

    March 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  8. Jim Yurick

    This whole debate is ridiculous and makes me furious. You don't debate the efficiency and cost of the fire department when the building is burning down around you. What world and country are these Senators and Congressman living in? I've been out of work for over a year without any unemployment benefits. My wife had to take a position with her company oversees so we can keep our bills paid. We live in Houston where the economy is supposed to be very good if you listen to our current governor and local secessionist leader but I can tell you the job market is on life support here. Let's get the fire out, put our people back to work and then debate what we should have done!

    March 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  9. Janice Mashburn

    I would like to see some of these people in Washington to be without a job for over a year, See how they would handle it. I live in a part of Oklahoma where the unemployment is above the national average. the jobs around here are dependent on oil. Halliburton used to be based in this town but has now decided to move the corporate and other areas to Texas. That means that not only those jobs are leaving but so many other companies are being affected by it. Even before this happened people were losing jobs. We have become so dependent on oil from other countries that it doesn't matter how many of Americans lose thier jobs by this. This Senator gets up there and does what he does. How dare he do that. Live awhile in our shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  10. Carolyn Glenn

    So Sen. Jim Bunning wants to be a one man army, and try and stop the unemployment extension. Mr. Bunning, you worry about your children and grandchildren being faced with that deficit, and my question to you is, "why do you care, will you live to see it?" Maybe you should give up your six-figure check, and throw your 401K into the pot also. In order to keep the economy going, you have to have a plan, and President Obama has a plan. All you need to do is listen without prejudice. Without an income, people will began to do wicked things, and we in America shouldn't have to live like that.

    March 2, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  11. Steve Hula

    To bad he didn't ask some of those questions during the previous 8 years he was in office before the Dems took over ....

    March 2, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  12. Marvin Margolin

    Would Mr. Bunting like to suggest where some money could be saved?

    It is easy to complain wilthout providing solutions.

    March 2, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  13. JB

    If this man thought it was a good idea to send jobs overseas, then he should have the heart to help those people who have lost their jobs to cheap, exploited labor.

    March 2, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  14. Edward Norton

    That woman you had on that is unemployed in Kentucky is telling it like it is. This senator in fact the entire government that is controlling the purse strings has no idea about what its like to be unemployed. Unemployment insurance is NOT a deterrent for people to not look for work, rather it is a safety net if you will to prevent people from starving or should I say to help them put some food on their tables. Where does this A** wipe of a senator get off saying that? First of all there are NO jobs to turn to! How can you get off your behind to get that job when that job isn’t there to begin with! This country is spiraling out of control and its not because of the working class people, its not because of job loose, its not because of immigration. Its because these people in Washington have played the political game far to long and put us in this situation! Its high time in my opinion to FIRE all of Washington and hire people that sincerely desire to see America prosper as a whole and not themselves only.!

    March 2, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  15. ford cameron

    It amazes and embarrasses me that our GOP hasn't figured out a way to create a better way to "progress". Hey, fellow Republicans, slowing and stopping Democrats isn't progress!

    March 2, 2010 at 10:16 am |