Sen. Bunning’s filibuster forces furlough for federal employees working on construction projects




So, it’s not just the unemployed who will suffer because Senator Bunning blocked the legislation extending unemployment benefits. There was more in the bill. And, it’s causing at least 2,000 federal employees are having their jobs put on hold:

ABC News’ Lisa Stark reports: Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) didn’t just stop extensions of unemployment and health insurance benefits with his “hold’ on these funding measures last week, he also stopped an extension of the Highway Trust Fund for 30 days. That means the fund cannot be used to pay for any of its programs or its employees.

So, the Department of Transportation as of Monday morning, must furlough 2,000 federal workers. DOT says that number could climb if this stalemate over funding drags on. Employees affected include federal inspectors overseeing highway projects on federal lands. If the inspectors aren’t there, the projects must shut down. DOT says that will affect 41 critical construction projects from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“As American families are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This means that construction workers will be sent home from job sites because federal inspectors must be furloughed.”

Republicans got us into this economic crisis. And, the Senate GOP caucus is letting Jim Bunning extend it. The Democrats need to force Bunning and his colleagues to own this filibuster. They should have done that last week. But, maybe everyone has to see the impact first.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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