"The First & Most Urgent Domestic Priority of Our Government"


Last year, House Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America”–making grand promises to the American people. They stated on page five of their “pledge”:

A plan to create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive must be the first and
most urgent domestic priority of our government.

Today marks 177 days, six full months, of Republican control of the House of Representatives but Americans are still waiting on what Democrats agree should be our “most urgent domestic priority”–jobs. Instead of moving legislation to create jobs, Republicans have passed bills that actually destroy jobs. In fact, the only votes taken in the last 177 days 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]

Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act – leveraging public dollars to strengthen the private sector, growing our economy by rebuilding America’s schools, hospitals, and transit projects, supported by American businesses, the construction industry, mayors and governors. [Vote 38, Vote 30, Vote 189]

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]

Motion to Recommit promoting jobs and innovation at home, and fairness abroad, by prioritizing patent applications from entities that pledge to develop or manufacture their products and technologies in the United States. [Vote 490]

So much for urgency.

The Democratic Whip’s office has put together a chart on even more failures by House Republicans to live up to their promises:

GOP PLEDGE
WHAT THEY SAID
WHAT THEY DID
JOBS “A plan to create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive must be the first and most urgent domestic priority of our government.” Since taking the majority, Republicans have not brought forward a comprehensive jobs agenda. Instead, they have brought bills to the Floor that are more focused on their partisan agenda than actually helping create jobs.
REFORM “Instead of pushing off our long-term fiscal challenges, we will reform the budget process to ensure that Congress begins making the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations.” Republicans passed a Rules package on their first day in the majority that paved the way to add $5 trillion to the deficit. They voted for a budget twice that gives tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while putting more of a burden on the backs of seniors and the middle class. Instead of protecting and strengthening our entitlement programs, their budget ends Medicare.
SPENDING “We offer a plan to stop out-of control spending and reduce the size of government. With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt.” Republicans targeted spending cuts at middle class families and seniors while protecting trillions in tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil companies. They have not put forward a responsible plan to reduce the deficit—instead they are focused on bringing down the debt on the back of seniors by ending Medicare.
HEALTH CARE “We offer a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care with common sense solutions focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs.” Republicans voted to take away patient rights and put insurance companies back in control of health care – offering no alternate legislative plan to slow the growth of health care costs, stop insurance company abuses, ensure all Americans can access affordable health coverage, and reduce the deficit. They also voted twice to end Medicare and increase health care costs for seniors by more than $6,000, and to block grant the Medicaid program and jeopardize the health care of seniors, the disabled and children.
3 DAYS

“We will give all Representatives
and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote. We will make sure that the floor schedule and operations reflect the priority of revitalizing the economy…”

And Speaker Boehner said: “[I]f we’re lucky enough to be in the Majority, and I’m lucky enough to be the Speaker, I will not bring a bill to the floor that hasn’t been posted online for at least 72 hours.” [7/23/10]

Republicans have brought a number of bills to the Floor without giving Members a full three days to review them. And the bills certainly do not reflect the priorities of creating jobs and growing the economy. Instead, they have voted on partisan bills that are not part of a comprehensive jobs agenda, and have little chance of becoming law.
NATIONAL SECURITY “We offer a plan to keep our nation secure at home and abroad…” Republicans have voted to weaken our security by cutting port security, transportation security, counterterrorism programs, and funding for first responders.
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