Another Banner Week of Obstruction for Republicans
It’s been another banner week for House Republicans to showcase what they do best: dysfunction and obstruction. In the past five days, the GOP:
Voted to begin implementing their out-of-touch budget that puts millionaires ahead of the middle class while ending the Medicare guarantee.
…the Republican-dominated House of Representatives approved, with no Democratic support, a federal budget plan that would slash popular domestic programs while sparing defense. [McClatchy, 5/10]
Blocked a Democratic budget alternative that offers a balanced approach to reduce our deficit and strengthens the middle class.
House Democrats offered an alternative bill that would replace the $109 billion sequester by raising taxes on the wealthy, ending oil company tax loopholes and cutting farm subsidies, but it was rejected. Republicans are determined to protect millionaires and defense contractors, no matter the costs to the country. [New York Times, 5/11]
The Democrats had crafted their own plan, but House GOP leaders wouldn’t allow it to come to a vote, saying the proposal wasn’t in compliance with a House rule. The Democrats would have saved an estimated $116 billion, with more than two-thirds of it coming from higher taxes on millionaires, ending some tax breaks for big oil and cutting agriculture subsidies. The rest would come from spending reductions. [McClatchy, 5/10]
Protected the Congressional pensions of Members of Congress who become lobbyists making more than a million dollars.
Former congressmen now making a fortune in the lobbying industry, take heed: Your government pensions are safe…
House Democrats…failed in an attempt to amend the Republican-backed Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act with language banning ex-members from receiving benefits from either the Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees’ Retirement System so long as they worked as registered lobbyists and made $1 million annually from their activities. [Politico, 5/10]
Jeopardized the bipartisan, House-passed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that would create jobs and help keep our nation competitive.
[Leader Harry] Reid accused “the far right, the Tea Party wing” of the Republican party of refusing to cooperate on a bill that traditionally has had bipartisan support and is backed by both business and labor groups. [Reuters, 5/10]
Refused to move forward on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that passed the Senate, instead passing in the House Judiciary Committee a partisan version that weakens current protections.
Republican leaders in the House have taken a different approach, with the introduction of H.R. 4970, a bill authored by Rep. Sandy Adams (FL-24), that actually rolls back protections for victims of domestic violence… [White House Blog, 5/11]
And, of course, Republicans promised to keep the obstruction streak alive in the coming months by manufacturing another crisis and threatening to raise middle class taxes unless the wealthiest Americans are rewarded.
“The House is prepared to extend all the current tax rates … All,” [Speaker John] Boehner said… [The Hill, 5/8]
When Republicans are finally ready to clean up their track record, Democrats stand ready to work with them to create American jobs, responsibly reduce the deficit, and strengthen the middle class.