GOP Taking Body Count Home For Recess
by Sandi Behrns
In just one week, the Congress will adjourn for the August recess, and with that the midterm election cycle will begin in earnest; so it’s worth taking a look at the accomplishments the two parties take home as bragging rights. Despite having not attained ideal progressive legislation, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress have achieved an impressive list ranging from historic health care reform to historic financial reform (and a little rescuing the nation from the brink of a Depression thrown in for good measure.) Although the political capital one would expect from such achievement has yet to materialize, Democratic accomplishments have been well documented.
What about the Republicans? I will grant that as the minority, moving planks of the party platform through Congress is next to impossible. However, that does not preclude the ability to reach across the aisle and work toward true bipartisan measures that reflect well on all. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to point to those types of achievements? Of course it would, but that would conflict with the narrative that government doesn’t work. Instead, the GOP has a record of obstruction they can take home next week. In the past few weeks alone, they have racked up an impressive list of No:
- House Republicans blocked passage of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act
- Senate Republicans filibustered a plan to aid small business lending, the delayed vote of which they complained about while they were busy killing the…
- DISCLOSE act to bring transparency to campaign finance in the wake of the wildly unpopular Citizens’ United ruling
- A robust jobs bill was repeatedly filibustered by the Senate GOP until a barely adequate extension of unemployment benefits squeaked through
- Even a watered down and toothless energy reform bill, full of items originally proposed by the GOP, couldn’t be brought up for a vote in the Senate
- In lieu of any support for real immigration reform this year, the Democrats would like to pass the DREAM act. “Too Bad”, says John Cornyn
- Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is blocking another 20 judges this week – Obama’s judges are being approved at a rate of 43%, versus Bush’s 87%
- While it still passed the House, it is worth noting that 92 Republican representatives opposed the Tribal Law and Order Act, making it easier from Native American tribes to prosecute non-natives for crimes like rape
- Another 79 Republicans, nearly half – including Minority Leader Boehner and Minority Whip Cantor – opposed the Senior Financial Empowerment Act – a measure to help protect seniors from financial fraud and abuse
That’s quite a list to take home to their constituents. It should play very well, as long as none of their constituents are first responders, small business owners, unemployed, Latino, Native American, or senior citizens. The DNC and progressive groups would be remiss if they fail to make this year’s August recess about the above list. If trumpeting Democratic wins alone can’t motivate the base and educate independents, perhaps trumpeting GOP “accomplishments” can.Click here for reuse options!
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