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To Bunning’s Rescue

Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) decision to block an unfunded 30-day extension of unemployment insurance, COBRA benefits, and Medicare doctor payments has been largely a one-man endeavor.

No longer.

This morning, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) took the chamber floor in defense of Bunning, who has rejected the Democrats’ $10 billion proposal because it’s not paid for.

“All that the senator from Kentucky has asked for is that we do what every American family has to do,” Cornyn said, “and what every small business has to do, and that is [to] be honest in our accounting of the public’s money.” He added:

We know that there’s broad bipartisan support for the legislation. … All the senator from Kentucky has asked for is that it be paid for — that we not add $10 billion more to the federal deficit.

They aren’t entirely wrong. The national debt has become a national disgrace (and a menacing one). But it’s also difficult to take seriously any claims of fiscal rectitude coming from Bunning or Cornyn, both of whom voted in 2003 for the GOP’s Medicare prescription drug benefit, which is projected to cost $550 billion through 2016 — and not a cent of it offset.

Suddenly $10 billion in deficit spending doesn’t seem like the problem anymore.

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