Over the past year, House Republicans have claimed over and over again that their focus is on jobs and the economy. Unfortunately, their record doesn’t match up with their rhetoric:
WHAT THEY SAID: When Republicans took the House majority they designated job creation as their first priority in their Pledge to America: “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. So first, we offer a plan to get people working again.”
WHAT THEY DID: They did not take any action on jobs, instead passing a Rules package that paved the way to add nearly $5 trillion to the deficit, repealed patient rights’ and put insurance companies in control; and then passed a spending bill that economists predicted would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
WHAT THEY SAID: In March, Republicans tried to change their rhetoric so they could appear to be focused on job creation: “Under fire for focusing heavily on cutting spending rather than stimulating job creation, House Republicans are taking new steps to emphasize their efforts to spur hiring, including a jobs forum with business leaders to be held in the Capitol next week.” [NY Times, 03/09/11]
WHAT THEY DID: Instead they voted for a budget that ends the Medicare guarantee and raises costs for seniors while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
WHAT THEY SAID: After voting to end the Medicare guarantee, Republicans unveiled a more-of-the-same jobs agenda in May that was poorly received: “It also comes at a time when many in the GOP would like to change the conversation about the party's policy agenda… None of these proposals and none of the handful of others in the plan qualify as new ideas.” [Politico, 05/26/11]
WHAT THEY DID: Shortly after, instead of taking action on job creation, they voted again for their budget that ends the Medicare guarantee and raises costs for seniors – even though the American public has rejected their plan.
WHAT THEY SAID: In June, Republicans claimed their Floor schedule over the summer would focus on jobs, but a memo outlining their agenda was thin on jobs action.
WHAT THEY DID: Instead of helping put more Americans back to work, Republicans passed the Cut, Cap and End Medicare Bill, an extreme proposal that increased our chance of defaulting on our debt and would have ended the Medicare guarantee, while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy.
WHAT THEY SAID: In August, Leader Cantor outlined the Floor schedule for the Fall, claiming it focused on jobs. “House Republicans have laid out their fall jobs agenda, and it mostly revolves around killing environmental and labor regulations... For good measure, they’re also planning another round of attacks on the health care reform law… Republicans seem particularly focused on overturning EPA regulations – some that haven’t been finalized or even proposed.” [Politico, 08/21/11]
WHAT THEY DID: Again Republicans did not take action on jobs, instead wasting time on partisan bills to block EPA regulations that don’t even exist yet and roll back critical protections for our air and water.
WHAT THEY SAID: In September, Republicans admitted they haven’t been focused on putting Americans back to work, and said the House will refocus on jobs. Leader Cantor said in his pen and pad briefing: “The focus now is jobs… The past eight months we’ve been all about cuts.”
WHAT THEY DID: Instead, they refused to bring the American Jobs Act or bipartisan Make It In America bills to the Floor for a vote, despite having no comprehensive jobs plan of their own.
WHAT THEY SAID: After 300 days in the majority, Republicans decided to try out “a new jobs narrative,” according to a Roll Call article in October. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t their jobs narrative that was the problem. It was lack of a jobs plan.
WHAT THEY DID: Instead of putting forward a comprehensive jobs plan, they continued to waste time on partisan bills to roll back consumer and environmental protections; even though economists say these bills will have no impact on job creation or economic growth.
WHAT THEY SAID: During payroll tax cut negotiations in December, Speaker Boehner supported a Senate compromise bill to extend middle class tax cuts, calling it a “good deal.”
WHAT THEY DID: The next day, Speaker Boehner caved to the extreme Tea Party faction of the House GOP conference and Republicans walked away from middle class tax cuts, putting our economy and jobs at risk.
WHAT THEY SAID: And yesterday, Leader Cantor put out yet another memo on their legislative agenda to “help create an environment for economic growth.”
WHAT THEY ARE DOING: Unfortunately, that memo did not lay out a comprehensive jobs plan, but it did highlight partisan bills that are being brought to the Floor tomorrow. These bills will not help create jobs, and despite GOP rhetoric, they will not do anything to bring down the deficit.
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