Monday, November 21, 2016

A Pox on the Republican Leadership and the Republican Obstructionist Party Fanatics





Of course, now that Trump is elected, the republican party expects bipartisan agreement. No doubt, the democratic party will work with the republican party despite the republican party's past eight years of reckless obstruction and egregious hypocrisy. However, we should expect that the democratic party will obstruct any legislation, reforms, resolutions, and programs that are racist, sexist, misogynistic, plutocratic, xenophobic, or Islamophobic.


A Pox on the Republican Leadership

“[Because of] the Republicans' obstinate insolence, the Obama years could be named the era of Obstruction Americana”

“President Obama published an open letter in the Huffington Post [October 2016] in which he railed against Senate Republicans for their refusal to confirm his Supreme Court justice nominee, Merrick Garland. Invoking the host of critical cases awaiting the judgment of the highest court in our land, he took Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the rest of his obstructionist crew to the woodshed for holding back progress in our nation and for the utter disrespect it represents.

“This week [October 4, 2016], the Supreme Court return[ed] to work. The Justices [heard] important cases on issues ranging from the separation of church and state to intellectual property to Congressional redistricting to the death penalty. Many of the cases address questions that are fundamental to our democracy: the right to vote, for instance, or what constitutes U.S. citizenship. Yet – regardless of the stakes – Republicans in Congress have forced the Court to weigh these pivotal issues one Justice short of the Court’s full panel of nine.

President Obama’s Letter

“In a city of self-inflicted wounds, this one is more dangerous and less defensible than most. It’s been 202 days since I nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. That’s more than five months longer than the average nominee has had to wait over the last 40 years to receive a hearing in Congress – let alone an up or down vote. This delay has nothing to do with Judge Garland’s personality or his qualifications. Senators on both sides of the aisle acknowledge that he is a distinguished legal mind, a dedicated public servant, and a good and decent man.

“Republicans have long been resolved to defeat proposals I’ve put forward or supported on everything from equal pay, immigration reform and increasing the minimum wage, to expanding commonsense background checks for those who want to purchase a gun, and basic protections for American workers against discrimination based on who they love or how they identify.

“Republican leaders in Congress have proven they won’t work with my Administration, but along the way, they’ve lost sight of their basic mission. They can’t even meet their own goals.
 
“Republicans say they care about good paying jobs, but they’re ignoring one of the best ways to create them by refusing to make long overdue investments rebuilding our roads, bridges, ports and airports. A major infrastructure push would put Americans back to work and make our businesses more competitive – but Congress can’t get it done. They can’t move the ball forward on tax reform, one of the GOP’s biggest priorities, and they continue to delay serious funding to combat an opioid epidemic that has devastated the lives of many of their constituents. They talk a great deal about poverty, but refuse to address it in a meaningful way.

“On countless priorities – issues that matter to people across the country, regardless of their politics – Republicans in Washington have traded progress for partisanship. 

“We didn’t grow from a fledgling nation into the greatest force for good the world has ever known by flouting the institutions that define our democracy. We did it through fidelity to the values of our founding, and an understanding that our American experiment only works when we the people have a say. So do your part, and demand your representatives do theirs. That’s how we’ll carry forward the work of perfecting our Union.”


“[The last time a Justice wasn’t confirmed until past election day was during the Civil War. There’s absolutely nothing preventing the Senate from holding a vote on Garland except their petty partisan agenda. Their relentless campaign to deny President Obama legitimacy in the twilight of his presidency will go down in history as one of the most toxic and counter-productive betrayals of the American people in favor of their lobbyists and a racially-tinged effort to smear the legacy of one of our nation’s most effective presidents].”





Some of the Obstructions to Obama’s Presidency: And This Does Not Even Include the Last Two Years of His Presidency

REPUBLICANS IGNORED LEGISLATION THAT AMERICANS SUPPORTED:
  • Make It in America jobs legislation – By 20 percentage points, voters rate the economy and jobs the single most important issue. [Washington Post poll, 9/9/14]
  • Fair Minimum Wage Act – ‘Seventy-one percent of people surveyed favor a hike in the federal minimum wage,’ including 54% of Republicans. [CNN Money, 6/9/14]
  • Paycheck Fairness Act – 74% of Americans support ‘government efforts to address male-female income disparity in the United States.’ [Politico, 5/2014]
  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Over 70% of Americans – including 64% of Republicans – support comprehensive immigration reform. [Politico, 5/19/14]

REPUBLICANS WASTED TIME AND TAXPAYER DOLLARS ON POLITICAL MESSAGING:
  • The Republican government shutdown cost our economy $24 billion. [CNN, 10/17/13]
  • Republicans’ refusal to meet our nation’s debt obligations cost our economy $1.3 billion. [Huffington Post, 9/22/12]
  • Over 50 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act have cost taxpayers $79 million. [CBS News, 7/11/12]
  • Setting up the Benghazi Select Committee, to look at a tragedy that has been thoroughly investigated, cost taxpayers $3.3 million. [USA Today, 7/7/14]
  • Over $2.3 million in taxpayer dollars was spent on an unsuccessful court battle to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. [Bloomberg, 6/26/13]
  • House Republicans signed a no-bid contract to spend $350,000 on their political lawsuit against President Obama. [Washington Post, 8/25/14]

HOUSE REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:

Rather than allow the House to work its will and find solutions to real challenges facing the American people, House Republicans have demonstrated a pattern of obstruction and partisanship. Whether it’s giving up on critical negotiations, pulling their own legislation due to internal divisions, or tacking further to the right when they couldn’t pass their bills instead of compromising in the middle, House Republicans have walked away from the American people and told them ‘you’re on your own’ throughout the 112th and 113th Congresses: 

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM JOBS AND THE ECONOMY:
  •  Republicans walked away from a bipartisan Senate compromise, placing the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance at risk. [12/20/11]
  • 91 Republicans walked away from the measure to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, and GOP leadership relied on 147 Democrats to pass it. [2/17/12]
  •  Republicans walked away from the bipartisan Senate highway bill, which passed the Senate with 74 votes. [February-June 2012]
  • Republicans introduced their budget, which walked away from the Budget Control Act spending levels they agreed to in August 2011 [March 20, 2012]
  • 93 Republicans walked away from reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, and GOP leadership relied on 183 Democrats to pass the bill. [5/9/12]
  • 52 Republicans walked away from a conference report to provide long-term highway funding, and GOP leadership relied on 187 Democrats to pass it.  [6/29/12]
  • Republicans walked away from American workers by allowing part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides critical job training and worker assistance, to expire. [12/31/13]
  • Republicans walked away from 1.3 million Americans by blocking consideration of legislation to renew emergency unemployment insurance, which expired on December 28.  [1/9/14]
  • Republicans walked away from extending emergency unemployment assistance for people who lost their jobs on or before April 1, 2014. [1/15/14]
  • Republicans walked away from extending emergency unemployment assistance for people who lost their jobs on or before July 1, 2014. [1/28/14]
  • Republicans walked away from the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which increases the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10 an hour. [2/26/14, 2/27/14, 4/2/14, 4/4/14, 4/29/14, 7/30/14]
  • Republicans walked away from extending emergency unemployment assistance for people who lost their jobs on or before January 1, 2015. [3/5/14, 3/6/14]
  • Republicans walked away from extending emergency unemployment assistance for people who lost their jobs on or before June 1, 2014. The measure Republicans voted against was identical to a bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. [4/8/14, 5/7/14]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:
  • Republicans walked away from the Bowles-Simpson Bipartisan Fiscal Commission. [12/3/10]
  • 54 Republicans walked away from a Continuing Resolution that would keep the government funded for three weeks, and GOP leadership relied on 85 Democrats to pass the bill. [3/15/11]
  • 59 Republicans walked away from a Continuing Resolution that would keep the government funded for the year, and GOP leadership relied on 81 Democrats to pass the bill. [4/14/11]
  • Majority Leader Cantor walked away from the Biden deficit reduction talks. [6/23/11]
  • Speaker Boehner walked away from deficit reduction negotiations with President Obama. [7/22/11]
  • 66 Republicans walked away from a bill that would have ensured our nation paid its bills, and GOP leadership relied on 95 Democrats in order to avoid default and ensure America would meet its obligations. [8/1/11]
  • 101 Republicans walked away from a conference report for the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2012, and GOP leadership relied on 165 Democrats to pass the bill. [11/17/11]
  • Republicans walked away from the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. [11/21/11]
  • 86 Republicans walked away from the omnibus for the remaining nine appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012, and GOP leadership relied on 149 Democrats to pass the bill.[12/16/11]
  • 151 Republicans walked away from preventing the fiscal cliff, and GOP leadership relied on 172 Democrats to pass the bill. [1/1/13]
  • Republicans walked away from the American people and refused to work with House Democrats to replace the ‘sequester,’ allowing arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts to go into effect. [2/1/13]
  • 221 Republicans walked away from meeting our nation’s debt obligations by passing H.R. 807, the Pay China First Bill, placing America closer to the risk of default. [5/ 9/13]
  • 144 Republicans walked away from ending the government shutdown, and GOP leadership relied on 198 Democrats to end it, which cost the economy $24 billion. [10/16/13]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM WOMENS’ RIGHTS:
  • 138 Republicans walked away from re-authorization of the Violence against Women Act, and GOP leadership relied on all 199 House Democrats to pass the legislation. [2/28/13]
  • Republicans walked away from working women by voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which ensures equal pay for equal work by prohibiting sex discrimination in the payment of wages. [4/8/14, 7/30/14]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM STUDENTS’ LOANS:
  • 52 Republicans walked away from a conference report to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, and GOP leadership relied on 187 Democrats to pass it.  [6/29/12]
  • Republicans walked away from America’s students and allowed student loan interest rates to double. [7/1/13]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM:
  • After the Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill by a strong vote of 68-32, Republicans walked away from the majority of Americans who support comprehensive reform by refusing to bring it to the Floor. They also walked away from the bipartisan House bill, H.R. 15, four times. [3/26/14, 7/31/14, twice on 8/1/14]
  • House Republican leadership walked away from one of their own members by telling Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, responsible for crafting the House Republican version of immigration reform, that they wouldn’t be bringing his bill to the Floor for a vote. [7/10/14]
  • House Republican leaders, facing a conservative revolt, were forced to pull their border crisis funding bill and tack further to the right – passing a partisan bill that went nowhere in the Senate and failed to provide the necessary resources to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. [7/31/14]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE:
  • Republicans walked away from access to affordable health care for the 53rd time by voting to undermine or repeal the Affordable Care Act and offering no alternative legislation to replace it – despite their campaign pledge to repeal and replace. [9/11/14]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM DISASTER RELIEF:
  • In the days immediately after Hurricane Sandy, 69 Republicans walked away from extending the National Flood Insurance program as families and businesses were actively assessing storm damage and making claims, and GOP leadership relied on 193 Democrats to keep the program operating. [1/4/13]
  • House Republican leadership refused to bring the Sandy supplemental aid bill to the Floor after the Senate passed it with strong bipartisan support. When a bill was brought to the Floor, 179 Republicans walked away from businesses and families affected by Hurricane Sandy, and GOP leadership relied on 192 Democrats to pass the bill. [1/15/13]

REPUBLICANS WALKED AWAY FROM THE FARM COMMUNITY:
  • Republicans walked away from America’s farm communities by failing to pass a farm bill after they added harmful, partisan amendments to the original bill that would make drastic cuts to critical nutrition programs and after they failed to secure the votes needed for final passage from 62 of their own members. [6/18/13]

SENATE REPUBLICANS CONTINUED TO OBSTRUCT IN THE SENATE:
  • Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help close the gender gap in wages and ensure equal pay for equal work [4/9/14]
  • Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour  [4/30/2014]
  • Bring Jobs Home Act, which would stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship American jobs overseas and provide a new tax credit to businesses that bring outsourced jobs back to the United States. [7/30/14]
  • Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which would help Americans increase savings on their energy bills and create 200,000 American jobs. [5/12/14]
  • The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help decrease the burden of student loans for 25 million students. [6/11/2014]

SENATE REPUBLICANS PROMISED TO CONTINUE THEIR RECORD OF OBSTRUCTION:

Mitch McConnell has a game plan to confront President Barack Obama with a stark choice next year: Accept bills reining in the administration’s policies or veto them and risk a government shutdown… ‘We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy,’ McConnell said in an interview aboard his campaign bus traveling through Western Kentucky coal country. ‘That’s something he won’t like, but that will be done. I guarantee it.’ [Politico, 8/20/14]


HOUSE DEMOCRATS CONSISTENTLY DEMONSTRATED WILLINGNESS TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE:

Throughout this Congress, the House Republican leadership has relied on Democrats to pass nearly every major bill. For example:
  • 85 Democrats voted for a measure to keep the government funded for three weeks while 54 Republicans voted against it [3/15/11]
  • 81 Democrats voted for a measure to keep the government funded for the year while 59 Republicans voted against it [4/14/11]
  • 95  Democrats voted for the Budget Control Act while 66 Republicans voted against it [8/1/11]
  • 165 Democrats voted for the conference report for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD appropriations bills while 101 Republicans voted against it [11/17/11]
  • 149 Democrats voted for the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 while 86 Republicans voted against it [12/16/11]
  • 147 Democrats voted to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance while 91 Republicans voted against it [2/17/12]
  • 183 Democrats voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank while 93 Republicans voted against it [5/9/12]
  • 187 Democrats voted for highway, student loan relief, and flood extension while 52 Republicans voted against it [6/29/12]
  • 172 Democrats voted for the fiscal cliff deal while 151 Republicans voted against it [1/1/13]
  • 190 Democrats voted to add funds to Sandy relief package to fully meet the financial needs of the affected states while 190 Republicans voted against it [1/15/13]
  • 192 Democrats voted for the final Sandy relief package while 179 Republicans voted against it [1/15/13]
  • 199 Democrats voted for VAWA while 138 Republicans voted against it [2/28/13]
  • 198 Democrats voted to reopen the government while 144 Republicans voted against [10/16/13]
  • 81 Democrats voted for patent reform while 33 Republicans voted against it [12/5/13]
  • 89 Democrats voted for the Farm Bill conference report, while 63 Republicans voted against it [1/29/14]



For The Supreme Court and Senate Republicans’ Unprecedented Record of Obstruction of President Obama’s Nominees, click here.




No comments:

Post a Comment