Hatch: Media Suckered
- into Believing `Whining, Moaning' About GOP From Democrats Despite Senate Majority
Thursday, March 04, 2010
By Christopher Neefus
(CNSNews.com) Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Democrats had "no reason to gripe" over Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky) delaying a $10-billion extension bill earlier this week because they have "59 votes on their side" and can basically do what they want in the Senate. He also said some of the media were "suckered" on the issue.
On Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked Hatch whether Bunning did the right thing and whether there was anything wrong in the way Bunning handled the issue.
Hatch said, "I'm not gonna' criticize him. You know, anybody that has the ability to stand up like he's done, I think deserves praise, not criticism. But, you know, sooner or later But, look, the Democrats have no reason to gripe. They tried to turn the media on this and some of the media have been suckered on it because -- there are 59 votes on their side!"
"Why do they have to put up with it for one day?" said Hatch. "They could have done it. I get a big kick out of it -- the whining and the moaning and the groaning by Democrats when they have 59 votes in the Senate. I'd give anything to have 59 votes in the Senate on our side. I mean, my gosh."
The Democrats hold 57 seats in the Senate. The two Independents, Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut caucus with the Democrats, providing the 59 votes to which Hatch referred. The Republicans hold 41 seats in the Senate.
Last Friday, Feb. 26, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) started to block a $10 billion spending bill containing an extension of unemployment insurance and highway funding provisions.
Senate Democrats attacked Bunning after he refused to allow the bill to pass through "unanimous consent," a routine process used by the Senate on non-controversial matters to keep the upper chamber moving quickly.
Bunning had objected because the bill was not paid for, and he wanted to wait until unspent stimulus funds or other monies could be allocated for it. The benefits included in the bill were allowed to expire briefly due to the delay in passage, which caused Bunning to come under fire from both parties.
Democrats could have passed the extension bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, through a normal vote, and their caucus has 59 seats compared to 41 for Republicans.
"Why do they have to put up with it for one day? They could have done it," Hatch said, referring to the majority's ability to just pass the bill themselves.
Democrats have consistently referred to Republican "obstructionism" throughout the health care debate, and have branded them the "Party of No," but Hatch pointed out they could pass their own bills with solely Democratic votes.
As Hatch said, "I get a big kick out of itthe whining and the moaning and the groaning by Democrats when they have 59 votes in the Senate! I'd give anything to have 59 votes in the Senate on our side. I mean, my God."