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“Democrats and Repub­li­cans … have found com­mon ground: They’re all miffed at Ken­tucky Sen. Jim Bun­ning. Un­der pres­sure, Bun­ning re­lented on his one-man cru­sade to block a $10 bil­lion Se­nate bill that ex­tends un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits and stalls some big cuts in Medi­care pay­ments to doc­tors ... He gave just about ev­ery­body fits in Wash­ing­ton and caused some an­guish around the coun­try for the peo­ple who were af­fected. He is known as an iras­ci­ble guy. ... He’s re­tir­ing be­cause leaders in his own party pushed him to get out. His block­ade made Repub­li­cans look cal­lous and fed the im­age that they’re the party of ‘no.’ Ex­cept, Bun­ning had a very good point: Congress won’t pay for what it spends.”

—Chicago Tri­bune

“What did Obama’s sum­mit prove? That Democrats are on the right track, and need to get a bill passed. … The ses­sion iden­ti­fied a num­ber of ar­eas where the Democrats’ pro­posal could be im­proved. ... But rather than mak­ing a per­sua­sive case for start­ing over, Repub­li­cans showed that their half-steps wouldn’t get to the root of the prob­lems. ... That alone should per­suade Democrats to move for­ward—through rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, if nec­es­sary.”

—Los An­ge­les Times

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