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GOP's First Five Months: No Jobs Bills

House Republicans, who have been MIA on jobs for months while busy voting to end Medicare, are in full damage control. In an attempt to change the subject, they are repackaging their same old failed policies and calling it a jobs agenda: Politico noted:  “It's largely a repackaging of policies they've long supported, but if they work to legislate on these issues they may be able to change the conversation from overhauling Medicare to lowering taxes, deregulating and boosting trade….”  5/26

Democrats are committed to strengthening Medicare, while creating jobs through our Make It In America agenda; so far this Congress, the only votes to put Americans back to work have been on Democratic proposals.   

The GOP No Jobs Agenda Will Harm Recovery
In the first five months, House Republicans have passed 55 measures, but none that create jobs. 

Instead, House Republicans have passed bills that destroy nearly 3 million jobs:

Just as they have voted end Medicare, Republicans are also moving legislation to end guaranteed federal unemployment benefits (H.R. 1745), even as there is only 1 job opening for every 4 Americans looking.  Just last December, most Republican Members voted to extend the tax cuts for the very wealthiest while agreeing to extend federal emergency unemployment insurance.  Less than halfway into the year, Republicans are already reneging on that vote.  Not only does this bill threaten unemployment insurance benefits for more than 4 million out-of-work Americans, it could also destroy as many as 300,000 jobs this year.  [EPI]

And today's endorsement of a “new agenda” of the same old failed GOP policies does nothing to change that.  This returns us to the same policies that will drive a hole in the deficit to provide for more tax cuts to big corporations; and reaffirm their support for ending Medicare, while protecting oil companies' tax breaks.  As it heaps trillions to the deficit, the centerpiece of the Republican plan reduces tax rates for the wealthiest businesses and individuals to 25 percent -- putting at risk tax deductions and credits crucial to millions of middle-class taxpayers and seniors, such as deductions for things like mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, and the exclusion of Social Security and Medicare benefits.  The GOP agenda suggests a return of the 2004 repatriation holiday for corporations -- which did not create jobs and largely paid out funded dividends and stock buybacks to shareholders.  The one-year repatriation holiday would cost taxpayers $78 billion to benefit very few corporations (less than 10% of all U.S. corporations) -- benefiting corporations that have shipped U.S. jobs overseas.

GOP Passing Special Interest and Ideological Bills
Instead of passing job-creating bills, Republicans have wasted time and taxpayers money casting votes on behalf of special interests and ideological crusades:

  • Voted to repeal health care reform on behalf of the health insurance industry;
  • For big polluters, Republicans passed a bill to undermine our ability to provide a healthier environment for our children, eliminating every tool EPA has to address serious public health threats from carbon pollution, including increased childhood asthma;
  • Voted to protect taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil and speculators driving up gasoline prices, and against gasoline anti-price gouging legislation for consumers;
  • Voted to provide more tax cuts for millionaires, and protect tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas;
  • Voted to strengthen the role of special interests in our elections (by ending the Presidential Election fund that promotes small campaign donations) and against disclosure of foreign countries, companies, or individuals donating to presidential campaigns;
  • Voted to cripple public radio stations, particularly in rural areas, while not saving taxpayers one dime;
  • Voted to cut off key federal funding for Planned Parenthood -- devastating the primary source of health care, especially preventive services like contraception, cancer screenings, breast exams, and HIV testing, for millions of women across the country; and 
  • Voted for an unprecedented, radical assault on women's health care - for the first time restricting how women with private insurance can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance.

Republicans Say NO as Democrats Fight to Create Jobs and Strengthen the Economy
Recently, House Democrats announced our “Make It in America” Agenda to revitalize manufacturing in America, create new good-paying jobs, and make our nation more secure.  By rebuilding our manufacturing sector, we can create the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future while promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports.

The only votes this Congress has taken to create jobs have been on Democratic bills, which were either voted down by Republicans or which Republicans voted against even considering:

  • An American jobs effort to end government contracts rewarding corporations that ship American jobs overseas.  [Vote  19]
  • American Jobs Matter Act - to give preference in federal contracts to U.S. manufacturers that create jobs here at home. [Vote 257]
  • National Manufacturing Strategy Act, which calls on the President to lay out a plan to help ensure American manufacturers can compete, grow, and thrive. [Vote 279]
  • Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Technology Act to help ensure the cars of the future are built here in the U.S., by investing in a broad range of near-term and long-term vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency, support domestic research and manufacturing, and lead to greater consumer choice of vehicle technologies and fuels. [Vote 310]
  • Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to provide our government with effective tools to address unfair currency manipulation by countries like China, which could help create 1 million American manufacturing jobs by leveling the international playing field for American workers and businesses. [Vote 9, Vote 199]

These job-creating efforts could build upon the 2 million private sector jobs that have been created over the past year, with the economic policies of President Obama taking effect.