From FIREDOGLAKE (April 28, 2010 12:47 P.M.):
In a bit of political theater, Senate Democrats plan to hold Republicans hostage on the floor and continually reject moving to debate on the Wall Street reform bill as a means to highlight the obstructionism and hopefully break the impasse.
A senior leadership aide described this stunt as similar to what they did when Jim Bunning would not give consent on the unemployment insurance extension. The press was very negative toward Bunning and the Republicans, and eventually they caved. Democrats are hopeful that they can force the hand of those who have wavered on the FinReg bill – George Voinovich, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and others – and “seal the deal” on moving to a floor debate on it. It is likely that Democrats would need more than one Republican to get 60 votes, as Ben Nelson “doesn’t seem like he’s budging,” the aide said.
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From Washington Wire blog at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
Sen. Jim Bunning, the Kentucky Republican who held Senate hostage over an unemployment bill earlier this month, is now causing trouble for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Bunning is blocking the confirmation of two trade nominees because, according to an aide, the USTR hasn’t done enough to defend Bunning’s home state against a Canadian antismoking law that “unfairly discriminates against Kentucky-grown tobacco.”
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Senate Democrats spent Thursday night hammering away at Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) for single-handedly holding up action in the upper chamber – but he blurted out a message to one of them on the Senate floor: “Tough s—t.”
In an unusual display in the normally sleepy chamber, Bunning – without the support of GOP leadership – has blocked efforts to quickly approve a series of extensions to measures that would otherwise expire Sunday, including unemployment insurance and the Cobra program that allows people who lose their health benefits to continue getting coverage.
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