The GOP Agenda: Political Messaging Over Jobs, Economy

For Immediate Release:

May 14, 2013

House Republicans continue to waste time on political messaging bills that will not become law and do not help the American people.  This week, House Republicans are taking a page out of the 112th Congress’ playbook and are voting for the 37th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a vote that would take away important patient protections from millions of Americans.  These continued votes come despite the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law’s constitutionality and Speaker John Boehner declaring, “Obamacare is the law of the land.” The House Republican agenda shows that they continue to be out of touch with the priorities of the American people.

REPUBLICANS TRY TO JUSTIFY 37th VOTE TO TAKE AWAY PATIENT PROTECTIONS…

Speaker John Boehner: “We’ve got 70 new members who have not had an opportunity to vote on the president’s health care law.  Frankly they’ve been asking for an opportunity to vote on it.” [POLITICO, 5/9]

… WHILE CONTINUING TO IGNORE CRITICAL ISSUES

Stopping the Sequester

Using the same logic House Republicans cited for holding a 37th vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act – their new Members haven’t had the opportunity to vote on it – the House should vote on alternatives to replace the sequester. But Republican leaders have not allowed a vote to replace the sequester this Congress, even as more warnings about the sequester’s negative impact continue to mount:

Andrew Busch, a political and economic strategist who advised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in his 2008 presidential campaign: “The fiscal drag is going to reach its peak in the second and third quarter…. People who think the sequester debate’s over, it’s not nearly as bad as they thought it was — to me that’s declaring victory way too soon.” [The Hill, 5/7]

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomic Advisors: “Fiscal tightening is hurting …[reduced government spending] has detracted from growth in five of past seven quarters.” [NYTs, 5/9]

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.):  “Sequester is still a major problem.” [The Hill, 5/13]

Completing Work on a Budget

Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a Fiscal Year 2014 budget, but House Republicans refuse to follow regular order and take the next steps in the budget process by appointing conferees.  Completing work on a budget would restore certainty for businesses, families and the economy. Even Senate Republicans are calling for ‘regular order’ on the budget [Politico, 5/9]:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): “I’m very much in favor of it, and I think we ought to do it right away.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.): “I’m OK with it going now.”

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.): “I’ve always been in favor of regular order.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): “There is value to regular order.”

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.): “I think we need to go to conference.”    

Instead of wasting more valuable time with yet another pointless vote that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away health care benefits and protections enjoyed by millions, including seniors, children, and small businesses, Republicans should be working on the issues most important to Americans – creating jobs, restoring our economy, and putting our nation on a fiscally sustainable path.

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