As House Republicans consider the 50th attempt to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, a long list of critical legislation has not been addressed – and there’s not much hope for the rest of 2014. House Republicans have indicated that they are not interested in making progress on substantive, bipartisan legislation for the rest of the year:
“When pressed on whether the House would actually hold votes on major legislation in 2014, the Speaker quickly backed away, and wouldn’t commit to anything more than continued ‘conversations’ in the coming month.” [2/27]
“Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.”
“’We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?’ said Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio). ‘We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.’” [2/17]
There are a number of key issues that Americans want to see addressed, including job creation, an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, comprehensive immigration reform, and raising the minimum wage, all of which Democrats have plans to support:
- Job creation continues to be at the top of Americans’ priorities, with voters citing unemployment as the number one problem in the United States, according to a Gallup poll last month.
Democrats’ proposal: House Democrats’ have put forward a Make It In America jobs plan that includes bipartisan proposals to strengthen the economy and create jobs here by pursuing a national manufacturing strategy, promoting U.S. exports, encouraging the return of jobs and innovation from overseas, and securing a twenty-first century workforce.
Renew Emergency Unemployment Insurance
- Two million Americans looking for work are now without emergency unemployment insurance due to Republican inaction, and every week Republicans refuse to act, an additional 72,000 Americans on average lose access.
- American voters support extending emergency unemployment benefits according to a January Quinnipiac poll, with 58% of Americans supporting action.
Democrats’ proposal: While Republicans continue to ignore struggling Americans, Democrats have tried to bring legislation to renew unemployment insurance to the Floor for a vote four times:
- December 12: blocked 227-195
- January 9: blocked 226 – 191
- January 15: blocked 228-195
- January 28: blocked 222-194
Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- According to a recent Fox News poll, 68% of voters support allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and seek a pathway to citizenship.
Democrats’ proposal: H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, has 198 cosponsors, including 3 Republicans. If brought to the House Floor, comprehensive immigration reform would pass with bipartisan support.
Raise the Minimum Wage
- According to a CNN/ORC International poll, more than 6 in 10 Americans support the government working to narrow the income gap in the country.
- Raising the minimum wage would lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
- Additionally, 71% of Americans support raising the minimum wage, according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll.
Democrats’ proposal: House Democrats have introduced H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, and more than 190 Members have signed a petition that would force Republicans to bring the legislation to the House Floor for a vote.
It’s time for Republicans to stop wasting time and take action on critical issues facing the country.
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