Year in Review: GOP’s Part-Time Congress Pursues Partisan Agenda That Won’t Boost Economy, Put Americans Back to Work

For Immediate Release:

December 6, 2011

Contact:

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

It’s been nearly a year since Republicans took the House majority and they pledged to focus on Americans’ top priorities: creating jobs and growing our economy. But instead of working with Democrats on a bipartisan basis to put Americans back to work and address the deficit in a meaningful way, Republicans have led an unproductive year and focused on the wrong priorities.
 
GOP’s Part-Time Congress Less Productive Than Democratic-led Congresses
 
The Republican majority has proven to be one of the least productive Congresses in recent memory. The numbers speak for themselves: in 2007, when Democrats took back the majority, more bills were passed and more bills were signed into law. This year, Republicans passed 165 bills, and 62 were signed into law. In 2007, Democrats passed 478 bills, and 131 were signed into law - more than double the number under Republicans.
 
 
Republicans have also had fewer votes and Committee mark-ups. In the first eleven months of this year, Republicans have had 888 roll call votes and have held 336 mark-ups, compared to 1,122 roll call votes and 598 mark-ups held in the first eleven months of 2007.
 
 
Data provided by CRS, through November 30, 2007 and 2011
 
GOP’s Part-Time Congress Focuses On the Wrong Priorities
 
Not only have Republicans been less productive than previous Congresses, but the legislation they have considered won’t create jobs or help grow our economy. Instead of helping Americans get back to work and addressing the deficit in a meaningful way, Republicans have been wasting time and taxpayer dollars by pursuing an ideological agenda that has nothing to do job creation or economic growth. Here’s a look at the numbers:
 
0:         Number of comprehensive jobs plans they’ve put forward
 
2:         Number of Democratic jobs plans, both based on bipartisan proposals, 
            that Republicans refuse to consider
 
3:         Number of times they voted for their budget to end Medicare
 
3:         Number of times they voted to roll back workers’ rights, which will not 
            create jobs
 
3:         Number of times Republicans voted to leave consumers and the U.S. 
            financial system vulnerable to the risks that led to the 2008 financial 
            crisis and resulted in record job loss
 
4:         Number of times Republicans voted to restrict women’s health care 
            access, which has nothing to do with jobs
 
5:         Number of times Republicans voted to keep unnecessary subsidies for 
            oil companies making record profits
 
10:       Number of regulatory bills they’ve voted on, which economists say will 
            not create jobs
 
14:       Number of times they voted to repeal patient protections and put 
            insurance companies back in control of health care
 
23:       Number of times they’ve voted against Democratic initiatives to create 
            jobs
 
170:     Number of times Republicans voted to roll back critical environmental 
            protections – which economists say will not create jobs.
 
336:     Number of days Republicans have let pass by without introducing a  
            comprehensive jobs plan
 
GOP’s Part-Time Congress Relies On Democrats To Pass Key Legislation
 
The Republican majority has also been deeply divided, relying on Democratic votes to pass key legislation. Democrats have proven we will work with Republicans to pass critical bills, which is why Speaker Boehner needs to work with us to pass the remaining legislative items we have this year and work with us on jobs next year. 
  • In March, Republicans relied on 85 Democrats in order to pass a Continuing Resolution that would fund the government for three weeks.
  • In April, Republicans needed 81 Democrats in order to pass a Continuing Resolution for the full year.
  • In August, Republicans depended on 95 Democrats in order to avoid default and ensure America would meet its obligations.
  • And in November, 165 Democrats voted yes in order to pass the conference report for the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD Appropriations bills.
It’s clear the Republican majority has fallen short on the pledge they made when they took the House. It’s been disappointing that they’ve wasted an entire year pursuing an ideological agenda, rather than working on a bipartisan basis to create jobs, boost our economy, and reduce the deficit. However, the year is not over, and we still have two weeks to address a number of expiring items. Democrats are committed to working with Republicans to extend unemployment insurance benefits, extend the payroll tax holiday, and fix the Medicare physician payment rate. It’s time for Republicans to abandon their partisan agenda, work with us to address these must-pass items, and consider bipartisan proposals that will give the American people what the GOP promised: jobs.
 
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