A North Carolina senator is sounding off about one of her colleagues. Kay Hagan is not happy with the way one senator, a baseball Hall of Famer, played some serious hard ball with Senate rules to delay a bill to help the unemployed.
Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning said he objected to the bill because Congress had not found a way to pay for the $10 billion package.
"He held the Senate and the American people hostage for days because he wanted 100 percent of his demands met," Hagan said, "and that is not the way our democracy is supposed to work."
To avoid procedural delays the Senate tried to pass the extension using a move called unanimous consent. But under Senate rules a single senator can block the approval. Enter Bunning.
Hagan, a Democrat, said Bunning prevented federal unemployment benefits and health insurance benefits. Bunning created furloughs for thousands of federal employees, suspended highway projects and caused cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.
"We have got to stop playing politics with the lives of North Carolinians and get back to work on creating jobs," Hagan said. "I am working with my colleagues to do just that."
Late last night Bunning agreed to end his holdout and the Senate voted in favor of the bill 78 to 19.
Sen. Hagan will pay the Port City a visit later this week and meet with constituents. She will hold office hours on a first come, first served basis from 1:45 to 2:15 Friday afternoon at Cape Fear Community College. The meetings will be in Room G-101 at 402 North Front Street in Downtown Wilmington. Representatives from the senator's office will be on site from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to assist constituents who need assistance with federal agencies.