Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Senate impasse puts federal employees out of work

Now I'm gonna give you one and only one guess as to what political party that senator belongs. Yep.

Hey, I used to work highway construction among other things and stopping its funding for a year is gonna piss off a lot of voters. It may also keep someone out of college as it would have me when that highway work was essential for me to buy books and pay tuition.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two thousand federal transportation workers were 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 objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn't respond to a request Monday for comment.

The impasse has provided the administration with an opening to excoriate Republicans for allowing popular programs to run out, even if only for a short time.

And 400,000 unemployed and 2,000 federal employees too? Bunning isn't doing the goopers any good. What a way to make friends with several thousand voters.

Note: Headline links to source. Clicking on image will enlarge it (usually).

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