The Republican Party has a never ending supply of people willing to step up to screw American. Last month it was Jim Bunning. This month it is Tom Coburn, with the GOP leadership backing him. Coburn has blocked acceptance by unanimous consent spending including of extensions of unemployment payments, subsidies for Cobra payments, and extension of Medicare and Tricare payments at current levels.
Last month Bunning backed down following a threat that he would have to remain to physically filibuster. This time we have to wait longer to see if the problem is fixed as Congress is going on a two week break. The Democrats hope that pressure from constituents who are harmed by this measure will lead the Republicans to back down.
While I would prefer that Harry Reid had kept the Senate in session until this was resolved there is at least one benefit to this break. President Obama has taken advantage of it to install fifteen recess appointees to avoid further Republican filibusters. The Republicans have exercise what the White House is accurately calling An Unprecedented Level of Obstruction in delaying these appointees, who have waited an average of 214 days for Senate confirmation.