Two thousand federal transportation workers will be furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.
Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.
The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.
Bunning's reaction, when pressed on the issue:
But Lamar Alexander claims that if the Democrats pass the health care bill through reconciliation, it will "end the Senate as a protector of minority rights, the place where you have to get consensus, instead of just a partisan majority."
Of course, reconciliation wasn't a problem for Senator Alexander the times he voted for it.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warns of a "severe reaction" if reconciliation is used.
Of course, he didn't have a problem when it was used 19 other times to pass bills the Republicans liked, like the Bush tax cuts.
You know what, Senator Alexander, Senator McConnell? You've had plenty of chances to have a say in this, and your reaction has always been to whine that anything less than total capitulation isn't being "bipartisan."
Well, tough shit. Pass the damn bill.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Bipartisanship In Action
The Washington Monthly