As we near the end of 2013, it is time for a little reflection. With the mid-terms coming next year, there is going to be a lot of haggling, to say the least, as to which party is to blame for the 113th Congress being the least productive in history. Last night, Mr. Boehner stated that the House has passed 150 bills and it is the Senate’s fault nothing is getting done. Okay, Mr. Boehner, but remember a full third of those bills dealt with repealing the ACA. A full third passed both chambers and became law. That leaves about 50 bills your chamber passed that the Senate didn’t take up. Of course, there have been a whole lot of bills the Senate sent you that you didn’t take up either.
The year started out slowly, what’s new. The big wrangling was over a budget. In March, Mr. Boehner said “the Senate should pass a budget like we have already done. Then we can have a conference to hammer out the differences.” So, the Senate did pass a budget, and Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cruz in the Senate refused to allow the conference to take place. What was the difference between the two budgets? A whopping $40 billion. Now that sounds like a lot, but when you are looking at a budget of nearly $1 trillion that is really chump change.
Mr. Boehner and his radical wing of the party kept trying to repeal the ACA. The problem was they have NEVER offered an alternative! What is their plan? Why can’t they offer an alternative? I guess it is hard to offer an alternative to a health plan that was originally yours!
Mr. Boehner says he wants to help the middle class. Sounds nice. But, the last tax break bill he offered included huge tax relief to the top 1% while eliminating the mortgage exemption. Okay, I may be dumb, but how does eliminating my mortgage exemption and raising my taxes a couple of thousand dollars help me and the rest of the middle-class? Surely I am missing something here.
The President offered up a bill the help rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. I don’t know a single person in this country who is against rebuilding our infrastructure. Bridges have collapsed. Water mains have broken all around the country. The power grid is obsolete and waiting for the right reason to cause a massive blackout. Roads are deteriorating. Dams need repair. The list goes on and on. But, the Republicans don’t want to pass this bill. How could millions of middle-class paying long-lasting jobs help the American People? Surely Mr. Boehner has a better plan. If he does, he isn’t saying what it is.
He continuously claims he is only listening to the American People. Well, the majority of the American People want the Infrastructure Bill to become law. 90% of the American People want universal background checks when purchasing a gun. They don’t want criminals, terrorists, and mentally ill people to be able to purchase a gun. But, Mr. Boehner appears to want these people to arm themselves since he refuses to bring the bi-partisan bill passed by the Senate to be voted on.
Over 75% of the American People want real Immigration Reform. Mr. Boehner, again does not want Immigration Reform since he refuses to allow the bi-partisan Immigration Reform Bill passed by the Senate to be voted on in the House. Over 80% of the American People want Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed. Mr. Boehner thinks that employers should be able to fire people simply they may be part of the LGBT community and refuses to allow a vote.
Over 75% of the American People want the minimum wage to be increased. Mr. Boehner doesn’t want to increase the minimum wage. As a matter of fact he thinks it is already too high!!
Over 80% of the American People wanted the Jobs For Veterans Bill passed. Mr. Boehner appears to believe the country owes nothing to our veterans since he refused to allow the bill to be voted on. Mr. Boehner opposed the Violence Against Women Act which was overwhelmingly supported by the American People. Fortunately, it was passed over his head.
During the 2012 elections, it became clear that the Republican Party was totally out of touch with the American People. We heard things like “legitimate rape”, or “if a woman gets pregnant from a rape it is God’s will”. It got so bad, the Republicans came out with what they called their “autopsy” of the 2012 election results and what they should do moving forward. I guess losing about 60% of women’s vote and 80% of the Latino vote helped bring this to the forefront.
The report said they needed to be more inclusive. But, the far right-wing said NO, NO, NO!!! According to the Pee Party, they weren’t conservative enough! As a result, the last year has shown they learned nothing from 2012. It has gotten so bad, the Republican Party is actually holding classes on how to “Speak to Women”? Really???? You need to teach a politician how to speak to women? How about not passing legislation that makes them “second-class citizens”? Maybe that would do your speaking for you!
Republican controlled States are still passing voter restriction laws. Republican controlled States are still passing abortion restriction laws. Republican controlled States are trying to pass anti-contraception laws. And, of course the Republicans in Congress still want to build a bigger fence on the border and deport all illegals. They would even love to pass a National Identification Card law. Can you say “papers please”?
They have also ignored the senior citizens and the poor. They are still trying to privatize Medicare and Social Security using the same type of “exchange principle” they are slamming the ACA over. They have already slashed $5 billion per year from Food Stamps and want to cut another $10 billion per year for the next 10 years! Republican controlled states have refused to expand Medicaid even though it won’t cost them anything.
Then of course was the infamous government shutdown. They forced the government to shut down and threatened the full faith and credit of the U.S. just to try to bully the President into repealing the ACA. The rollout of the ACA was extremely poor at best. And, the President’s approval rating shows the American People’s frustration with it. The Republicans seem to think they can take advantage of his numbers forgetting that their own approval rating is in single digits!
Senator Cronyn of Texas recently said that “lying to congress is a crime. Maybe lying to the American People should be a crime too”. Mr. Cronyn should also remember that selling your vote is a crime! He and the vast majority of the Republicans in Congress are guilty of just that. They have sold their vote to Mr. Norquist! Funny though, Mr. Issa and his Governments Oversight committee haven’t held any hearings on that! Oh, that’s right, Mr. Issa also sold his vote to Mr. Norquist.
The Republican Party has degenerated into a party of hate! That is all. They hate the idea of a Black Man being President and will do anything they can to tarnish him. Even if that means bringing down the government. Mr. Boehner, your do nothing Congress is due simply to hate and power grubbing. The Republican Party stopped being a viable political party with real solutions to our problems on January 20, 2009. That was the day our first Black President took office!
Tell you what Mr. Boehner, if you want to prove me wrong, get off the golf course and actually do some work to help move this country along. Compromise is not a dirty word. It is what made this country great in the first place. A starting point would be to redo your schedule so you are IN session more than you are OUT of session next year! Over 250 days not in session in 2014? Is that really doing your job?