Over the weekend, Speaker John Boehner tried to defend the House Republican leadership’s lack of legislative accomplishments. When asked on Face the Nation about the 113th Congress’ record as the least productive in history and its low approval rating, Speaker Boehner attempted to redefine how to judge success:
Speaker John Boehner:
“We should not be judged by how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal.” [CBS Face the Nation, 7/21/13]
Unfortunately for Speaker Boehner, even by this standard the Republican-led 113th Congress has been unsuccessful. Despite House Republicans voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act nearly 40 times, none of these efforts have been signed into law. House Republicans have successfully repealed zero laws.
Republicans’ focus on repealing health care reform is not a priority for the majority of Americans:
“A majority of adults don’t want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest United Technologies/National JournalCongressional Connection Poll, preferring instead to either spend more on its implementation or wait to see if changes are needed later…. Given the choice to either repeal the law, wait and see how it takes effect, or add money to aid its implementation, only 36 percent of adults picked outright repeal.” [National Journal, 7/22].
Instead of working to remove important patient protections that benefit millions of Americans, here’s a look at some other pieces of critical legislation that Republicans have been ignoring:
It has been more than 120 days since the Senate passed a budget, yet House Republican leadership refuses to continue the process and go to conference to resolve differences.
Including today, there are only 16 remaining legislative days until the end of the fiscal year, yet House Republicans have only passed 3 of the 12 appropriations bills.
Some Republicans are already indicating they’re willing to put the nation at risk of a government shutdown:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “But we should not pass a continuing resolution and I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds ObamaCare for the period of time of the continuing resolution.” [The Hill, 7/22/13]
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): “If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it, we can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.” [Politico, 7/22/13]
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC): “We have 64 of my colleagues on this letter and we’re asking the leadership not to bring anything to the floor that has funding for ObamaCare in it.” [The Hill, 7/23]
With the U.S. Treasury already operating under “extraordinary measures,” the United States is expected to hit the debt limit in the coming months. Instead of risking another downgrade of our nation’s credit rating, Republicans are already discussing putting the economy at risk:
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC): “It is completely appropriate to use the debt ceiling or the CR to ask for some changes that reduce the burdens of this law [the Affordable Care Act] on Americans.” [Reuters, 7/18/13]
To play games by negotiating with the debt ceiling is a reckless policy that is dangerous for the American economy, businesses, and families. Fortunately, some Republicans recognize Americans do not approve of these political games:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “Some of my Republican colleagues are already saying we won’t raise the debt limit unless there’s repeal of Obamacare. I’d love to repeal Obamacare, but I promise you that’s not going to happen on the debt limit. So some would like to set up another one of these shutdown-the-government threats. And most Americans are really tired of those kinds of shenanigans here in Washington.” [Washington Post, 7/22]
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
A majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants according to a recent Washington Post – ABC poll, yet House Republicans refuse to consider the bipartisan, Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
Speaker Boehner has said “the House should be allowed to work its will” [CBS Face the Nation, 7/21/13], yet he will not bring forward this legislation for a Floor vote. Many Senate Republicans have called for action on immigration reform:
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “I don't think anybody's satisfied with the status quo on immigration. And I hope the House will be able to move forward on something and we can get this into conference and get an outcome that will be satisfactory for the American people.” [NBC’s “Meet the Press,”7/14/13]
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “Overwhelmingly, the American people want us to act. Now there's varying opinions as to how they want us to act, but they sure want us to act because almost every American knows that 11 million people living in the shadows is not what America's supposed to be all about.” [Newsmax TV, 7/22/13]
After more than six months, House Republicans have yet to bring forward any jobs legislation, a top priority for a majority of Americans according to several recent polls:
Gallup poll: “86 percent said the government should give top or high priority to creating jobs” [5/8/13]
Morning Joe/Marist poll: 64% of Americans say job creation is their top priority. [4/3/13]
House Democrats have put forward the Make It In America jobs plan to strengthen our manufacturing sector to grow our economy and create jobs, but Republicans have not brought this common-sense legislation to the House Floor for consideration.
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