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We Have Work to Do

One year ago today, Republicans took control of the House.  Americans are out of work; the Republican House is out of session. 

We should be here on the job, growing the economy and strengthening the middle class.  We have work to do, particularly after the Republicans' failed record over the past year:

  • No Jobs Agenda for 365 days
  • Voted to End the Medicare Guarantee
  • Rejected Middle Class Tax Cuts to Protect Tax Breaks for Millionaires 
  • Voted to Slash College Aid
  • Protected Big Oil's Tax Breaks and Subsidies
  • Voted Against American Jobs by Refusing to level the Playing Field with China
  • Voted Against Protecting Social Security Benefits
  • Voted to Repeal Health Insurance for Young People and Children & Raise Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors
  • Voted to Put American Democracy in the Hands of Special Interests instead of American Voters
  • Voted to Eliminate All Planned Parenthood Funding

Some of the Worst Votes of 2011

  • No Jobs Plan:  For 365 days, Republicans refused to offer a comprehensive jobs agenda, instead voting 28 times against jobs proposals or even considering jobs proposals.  Republicans voted against jobs proposals -such as discouraging corporations from shipping American jobs overseas (Vote 19, Vote 710, Vote 868) - and rejected taking up:  critical Make It In America initiatives -- many of which are bipartisan (Vote 257, Vote 279, Vote 721, Vote 693, Vote 792, Vote 829), proposals to rebuild America (Vote 38, Vote 30, Vote 189), and plans to strengthen American innovation (Vote 310, Vote 490).
  • Voting Against Middle Class Tax Cuts:  Republicans voted seven times against urgent consideration of an extension of the payroll tax cut needed to stop a tax increase on January 1st on 160 million working Americans.  For example, Republicans voted against the President's expanded payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, totaling $1,500 per year for a typical family, in order to protect the 300,000 Americans who make over $1 million per year from a small tax increase and against even considering it twice.  (Vote 922, Vote 925, Vote 918) Playing politics with middle class taxes, the GOP voted against even taking up the bipartisan Senate compromise extending the payroll tax cut that was needed to stave off the January 1 tax increase that was 11 days away.  (Vote 944)
  • Voting to End Medicare:  Three times, House Republicans passed a plan that ends Medicare and replaces it with a voucher program - raising seniors' costs, reducing benefits, and putting private insurance companies in charge of seniors' health care -- for all those currently under age 55.  In this new voucher system, seniors would lose the Medicare guarantee of a defined set of benefits and instead simply get an increasingly inadequate voucher.  According to CBO, the GOP plan would increase seniors' out-of-pocket health care costs by more than $6,000 in 2022 and by nearly $12,000 in 2030.  (Vote 277, Vote 382, Vote 606
  • Voting to Slash College Aid:  House Republicans passed a budget that dramatically slashes Pell Grants, which make college affordable for millions of students each year.  The GOP budget cut the maximum Pell Grant by 45 percent - cutting it from $5,550 to $3,040, the lowest level since 1998.  The budget would also result in all students receiving significantly reduced grants and would deny Pell Grants entirely to 1.4 million students. (Vote 277)
  • Voting to Protect Big Oil:  Republicans voted five times to protect Big Oil - their tens of billions in tax breaks and taxpayer-financed subsidies -- even during times when they continue to rake in record profits.  (Vote 153, February 18, Vote 277, Vote 313, Vote 676)
  • Voting for Tax Cuts for Millionaires:  Making bringing down the deficit harder, Republicans voted for the Ryan budget that provides $800 billion in additional tax cuts for the 300,000 people making over $1 million a year - continuing GOP policies that nearly doubled the national debt and left the middle class behind under President Bush. (Vote 277)
  • Voting Against Leveling the Playing Field with China: Republicans voted against bipartisan China currency legislation to help create 1 million American manufacturing jobs by leveling the international playing field for American workers and businesses and providing our government with effective tools to address unfair currency manipulation by foreign countries and against even considering it four times. (Vote 780, Vote 9, Vote 199, Vote 821, Vote 854) This bipartisan bill has 230 co-sponsors including 63 Republicans, yet the Republican leadership has blocked it. 
  • Voting Against Protecting Social Security and Medicare Benefits from Privatization:  Republicans voted against a proposal to stop FY 2011 funds from being used to privatize and cut Social Security, or from being used to cut Medicare and turn it into a voucher program. (Vote 178)
  • Voting to Repeal Health Care Reform:  Republicans voted to repeal the new law allowing millions of young people (those up to age 26) to get health insurance coverage by remaining on their parents' health plan, repeal new prohibitions to stop insurers from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions, and to increase prescription drug costs for millions of seniors. (Vote 14)
  • Voting For Special Interests and Against American Democracy & Voters:  Republicans voted to strengthen the influence of special interests in Presidential elections by rejecting disclosure of foreign countries', corporations', or individuals' campaign donations and voting to cut off efforts to promote small campaign donations.  They also voted to raise roadblocks to voting, by eliminating efforts to ensure that every vote counts after voting-irregularities plagued the 2000 elections and rejected voting protections for seniors, people with disabilities, and military voters, including ensuring compliance with the landmark Voting Rights Act. (Vote 24, Vote 25, Vote 466, Vote 872, Vote 873)
  • Voting to Eliminate Planned Parenthood Funding:  Republicans voted to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood health centers, devastating the primary source of family planning and of basic health care, including preventive services like cancer screenings and breast exams, for millions of women across the country.  (Vote 93)