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BREAKING: Bunning Hits the Showers

Outa here (for now)

NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell and Roll Call are reporting that the Senate standoff with Jim Bunning (R-KY) is over:

Under increasing pressure from Democrats and members of his own party, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) Tuesday night abandoned his one-man filibuster of a one-month extension to unemployment benefits and other programs.

In the end Bunning agreed to a deal allowing him one vote on an amendment to pay for the bill’s $10 billion cost. That proposal was offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last Thursday at the start of his filibuster, but Bunning rejected it because he feared his amendment would not pass.

Reid has also agreed to give Bunning two votes on amendments to a larger, one-year extension bill that is currently under consideration in the Senate

The first vote is actually what was in the original deal between Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell. The other two votes are indeed part of a compromise–basically giving GOP leadership what it wanted in exchange for giving Bunning the hook. This allows the short extension of unemployment and COBRA benefits, and public works funding to come to a vote, likely tonight. The extension through the end of the year is included in a much larger jobs package unveiled by Sens. Reid and Baucus earlier today.

I am assuming that the deal also includes Bunning lifting his blanket holds. . . if it doesn’t: headsmack!

Update (8:59 PM EST): Bunning’s funding ammendment has just been defeated. Vote on the short benefits extension coming up next.

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Gregg Levine

Gregg Levine