Issue Reports

December 4, 2012
Democrats remain committed to reaching agreement on a balanced solution to the fiscal cliff. President Obama’s proposal would cut the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years, ask our nation’s wealthiest to pay their fair share, and make strategic investments to create jobs and grow our economy. While Republicans have taken the positive step of putting a proposal on the table, it lacks the specifics needed to meet the challenge we face. Why didn’t they include specifics? Because their math doesn’t add up. A significant amount of revenue is needed, which can’t be reached by continuing tax breaks for the wealthy, as Republicans insist on doing.
November 30, 2012
With time running out, it is imperative that Congress take action before the fiscal cliff hits to prevent tax increases on middle class families and turn off the damaging and arbitrary spending cuts of the sequester. Going off the cliff isn’t an option. It will take a balanced solution, and for the first time it looks like some Republicans are starting to agree.
September 19, 2012
Before Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, they announced their “Pledge to America” with claims that they would focus on priorities important to the American people, such as creating jobs, restoring economic certainty, and reducing the deficit. Two years later, Republicans’ record shows that they abandoned their pledge, and instead have consistently chosen to focus on partisan political issues rather than policies to restore our economy or create jobs. Now House Republicans are adjourning until after the election, and Republican leaders are concluding their legislative agenda the same way they started it: choosing obstruction and political messaging over working together to enact policies that help Americans.
September 12, 2012
Throughout the 112th Congress, House Republicans have chosen confrontation over compromise, ignoring job creation, extending middle class tax cuts, and other critical legislation while wasting time on partisan messaging bills. Despite the challenges facing our country, Republicans have refused to govern effectively, instead focusing on their political agenda that won’t create jobs, grow our economy, or address our deficit in a serious way.  By refusing to work with Democrats towards responsible solutions, Republicans have walked away from the American people again and again.  This has resulted in record low legislative activity, and misguided priorities that favor extreme, partisan talking points over compromise and solutions. 
September 11, 2012
Recently, House Republicans have spent time playing the blame game and attempting to distance themselves from the devastating effects of the upcoming sequestration, designed to force Congress to enact a long-term plan to restore our nation’s fiscal health.  But a look at the not-so-distant past shows that sequestration was approved with 174 Republican votes and House Republican leaders were praising the process just a year ago, even claiming credit for the majority of the deal:    
August 1, 2012
Extending tax cuts for the middle class is a concept that both parties agree on, yet Republicans refuse to compromise to provide economic certainty to American families.  So far this Congress, the GOP has created a record of obstruction, ignoring critical bipartisan Senate bills.  Instead of working across the aisle, House Republicans have wasted time on political messaging bills that protect the wealthiest in the country while ignoring the issues facing the middle class.
July 30, 2012
Middle class families are facing an increase in their taxes in January, and House Republicans are the only ones standing in the way of preventing that from happening. Last week, the Senate passed a bill stopping the tax hike on middle class families and businesses, which Democrats introduced in the House today. While Republicans are playing political games that put middle class Americans at risk, the House could take action immediately to extend rates on income up to $250,000 while asking our nation’s wealthiest to pay a fair share towards our fiscal challenges by passing the Senate bill.  It is time for Republicans to stop holding 98% of Americans hostage to providing tax breaks to the top 2% in our country.
July 25, 2012
Over the last 19 months in the majority, House Republicans have wasted time passing GOP messaging bills that appeal to their conservative base, rather than working towards bipartisan compromises on critical legislation.  Meanwhile, the Senate has passed multiple pieces of legislation with strong bipartisan votes.  House Republicans continue to choose confrontation over compromise, refusing to take up any of these bills and putting American families and businesses at risk.  Here’s a look at how House Republicans are refusing to govern for the middle class:
July 24, 2012
Without Congressional action, middle class Americans will see their taxes increase in January 2013.  Extending tax cuts for income up to $250,000 would provide much needed certainty to the 98% of American families and 97% of small businesses who make less than that amount.  Unfortunately, Republicans refuse to work with Democrats to pass an extension of middle class tax cuts so that they can give yet another tax break to the wealthiest 2% of Americans.
July 19, 2012
The sequestration cuts scheduled to take effect were designed as a worse-case scenario to encourage a bipartisan agreement to address our fiscal challenges.  If these cuts are carried out on January 2, 2013, they will have a devastating impact on our national security, critical domestic programs, and our economy writ large.  The best solution to sequester is a big, bold and balanced plan – an idea supported by a bipartisan range of experts and officials.
July 17, 2012
As our nation’s economy continues to recover, we must give middle class families economic certainty and make sure their tax rates will not increase.  Democrats’ proposal would extend the middle class tax cuts so that 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses will continue to receive the full tax cut they have now, providing them with the financial certainty they need to expand and hire.  Instead, Republicans are holding tax cuts for the majority of Americans hostage in order to ensure that taxes don’t go up for the wealthiest 2% in our country.  For the sake of hard-working families across the country, both parties should work together to extend tax cuts for middle class Americans, a policy both Democrats and Republicans support.
July 10, 2012
This week, Republicans are taking their 31st vote this Congress to repeal or defund the landmark health reform law, arguing to take away health care benefits from millions of Americans. Rather than wasting time on the same political show votes over and over, Republicans ought to be focusing on the issues most important to Americans – creating jobs and growing our economy.
July 9, 2012
Democrats’ Make It In America plan is based on the belief that when more products are made in America, more families will be able to Make It In America. The plan is intended to create the conditions to help American businesses produce goods here, innovate here, and create jobs here; it includes many of the investments necessary for America to out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build its international competitors. President Obama has already signed ten Make It In America bills into law, many of which won bipartisan support. Business and labor leaders alike support Democrats’ Make It In America plan—because Making It In America is central to the future of our competitiveness, our jobs, and our place in the world.
July 2, 2012
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans have vowed to once again attempt to repeal this groundbreaking legislation that has put Americans – not insurance companies – in charge of their own health care.  This law strengthens and protects Medicare and preserves the Medicare guarantee for our nation’s seniors.  Americans have already experienced numerous benefits from the health care reform law, including insurance companies no longer being able to discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions, seniors in the Medicare donut hole paying at least 50 percent less for their brand name drugs, and Americans with private insurance no longer being arbitrarily dropped from their plans when they get sick.  When the law is fully implemented, Americans will have access to affordable health care coverage.
June 26, 2012
With less than one week before the highway bill expires and student loan interest rates double, House Republicans are once again trying to score political points instead to working to restore our economy.  Instead of adopting bipartisan bills that create jobs and give businesses the certainty they need to grow and hire, Republican leaders are choosing instead to stage political show votes.  It is time for Republicans to stop playing games with our economy and instead focus on growing the economy and creating jobs.
June 5, 2012
As our economy continues its recovery, House Republicans have rolled out a summer agenda that ignores job creation and does not address a number of critical items. Two items expire at the end of this month: a surface transportation reauthorization bill – which the Senate passed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote – and legislation to stop student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1. House Republicans are also holding an extension of the middle class tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy, despite the need for families to have certainty that their taxes will not increase next year.
May 30, 2012
Last week, House Republicans unveiled a summer legislative agenda that brings forward partisan bills that do not create jobs and will result in higher taxes for the middle class because of their refusal to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share.         
May 23, 2012
This week marks National Small Business Week (May 20-26), recognizing the many small businesses across the nation that are our economy’s job-creating engine. As the economy continues to improve, Democrats have consistently proposed policies that support small businesses.
May 18, 2012
This week, House Democrats introduced the Voter Empowerment Act, comprehensive voting rights legislation that will modernize voter registration, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices and voter fraud that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
May 17, 2012
Today, House Democrats introduced the Voter Empowerment Act, comprehensive voting rights legislation to modernize our voter registration system, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans and prohibit voter caging and other deceptive practices that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote. The bill will protect voters from restrictive voting measures that have been enacted in states across the country over the last year. These measures make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote, and disproportionally affect our service members, the disabled, minorities, young people, seniors, and low-income Americans.
May 15, 2012
Since taking the House majority, Republicans have chosen confrontation over compromise, choosing to move to the extreme right instead of moving to the middle and finding common ground. For over a year, Republicans have refused to work with Democrats, clinging to their partisan stance and walking away.
May 10, 2012
Democrats are committed to a deficit reduction plan that asks all Americans to contribute their fair share and prevents sequestration from occurring through a balanced mix of spending cuts and revenues. Unfortunately, the Republican plan is not balanced and makes the wrong choices by ending the Medicare guarantee and targeting the most vulnerable among us, while cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires.
May 9, 2012
The Ex-Im Bank helps American companies sell their goods all over the world, and these exports support U.S. jobs. The Ex-Im Bank provides financing that levels the playing field for U.S. exporters who are facing competition from foreign companies whose governments are aggressively supporting their exports.  To meet expected financing demands, the bill being considered today increases the Bank’s exposure limit to $120 billion through September 30, and increases the limit to $130 billion in Fiscal Year 2013 and $140 billion in Fiscal Year 2014.
May 8, 2012
The agreement announced last week on a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank ends uncertainty for businesses and provides the Export-Import Bank resources needed to keep American manufacturers competitive in a global market. This agreement is an important part of Democrats’ Make It In America plan to create an encouraging environment for businesses to innovate and make products here in the U.S., and is supported by everyone from labor to business.