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On the Floor
Yet, one year after Democrats passed and President Obama signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law, Republicans continue their relentless pursuit to undermine and weaken these vital reforms, siding with big banks over consumers and American families. At every turn, Republicans have tried to delay and defund parts of the law that will protect consumers the most. This week, Republicans are bringing forth H.R. 1315 to weaken, delay, and erode the consumer protections that stop unfair, deceptive and abusive practices and ensure credit card, mortgage, student loan, and other financial transactions are more clear, transparent, and fair to all Americans.
On July 20th, the House passed H.R. 2560, the so-called 'Cut, Cap and Balance Act' - which should be named the 'Cut, Cap, and End Medicare Act' by a vote of 234-190. This bill is nothing more than an ideological piece of legislation for Republicans to pursue their policy agenda of ending Medicare and extreme spending cuts, while protecting tax breaks for special interests and the wealthiest Americans. The bill incorporates the House GOP budget that ends Medicare, and then calls for deeper cuts by requiring adoption of a radical GOP constitutional amendment.
By a vote of 406-22, the House passed H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, on July 12th. This bill reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through FY 2016 and is intended to ensure its immediate and near-term fiscal and administrative health. The bill also includes reforms to ensure NFIP's continued viability over the longer term. It was reported out of the Financial Services Committee by a unanimous vote of 54 to 0.
Instead of acting to create jobs and strengthen our economy, on July 13th, House Republicans passed H.R. 2018 to limit federal oversight of state clean water plans -- undermining two fundamental elements of the Clean Water Act: water quality standards and protection of waters from dredging and filling for large-scale mining, development, and water resource projects.
The GOP has been in charge for more than six months and still hasn't passed a single jobs bill or rolled out a clear jobs plan. This week is no different: Republicans are ignoring Americans' top priority of jobs, turning off the lights on energy efficiency, and asking American consumers to foot the bill. Instead of acting to create jobs and strengthen our economy, House Republicans will vote on a bill (H.R. 2417) that repeals bipartisan energy efficiency standards signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007 that will save American families and small businesses billions per year in lower electricity costs.
On July 8th, the House passed H.R. 2219--the FY 2012 Defense Department Appropriations Bill--by a vote of 336-87. The bill includes provisions to provide our servicemen and women with the resources and tools they need to do their job.
This week, the House will vote on H.R. 672--legislation to end the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the independent bipartisan commission charged with improving the conduct of elections in America to ensure that every vote counts.
Instead of focusing on jobs, the Republican leadership brought yet another measure (H.R. 2021) that does the bidding of Big Oil and special interests. This legislation would repeal limitations on drilling for oil and gas that protect air quality - rushing through Clean Air permits for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
On June 14th, the House passed the FY 2012 Military Construction/VA Appropriations bill (H.R. 2055). Overall, this bill provides $72.5 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2012, $615 million below last year and $1.2 billion below the Administration's request. It also continues advance appropriations for VA health care by including $52 billion for FY 2013.
It's been more than 6 months since the GOP took control of the House, and Americans are still asking: Where are the jobs, House Republicans? The middle class is hurting, and the Republicans' only answer is a plan to end Medicare and give tax breaks to Big Oil and companies that ship jobs overseas.