Finishing the Way They Started: Failed Promises, Putting Politics Over Policy
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.
The Republican Record
“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.”
Over the last 21 months, House Republicans have not offered or voted on a comprehensive jobs bill, despite it being Americans’ top concern.
House Republicans have refused to take up President Obama’s American Jobs Act or to move most pieces of House Democrats’ Make It In America agenda, a comprehensive jobs plan that aims to strengthen manufacturing and create jobs.
“The constant threat of new taxes and new regulations prevents investors and entrepreneurs from putting capital at risk. These private sector employers must be given the certainty that if they take a risk to expand their company or hire a new employee, Washington won’t yank the rug from under their feet.”
House Republicans have not only notprovided economic certainty, they’ve brought economic uncertainty to record high levels.
They created uncertainty for businesses last year, when they brought the U.S. to the brink of default after walking away from a bipartisan, balanced deficit reduction plan. As a result, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history.
Republicans have also created uncertainty for middle-class families and small businesses by refusing to extend their tax cut as they hold it hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy.
An increasing amount of uncertainty has led to higher unemployment rates, according to a recent study [Federal Reserve Bank, 9/18/12].
“With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt.”
Because of Republicans’ refusal to compromise on a balanced deficit reduction plan, the U.S. is now facing a fiscal cliff that will bring serious consequences in January 2013, including a sequester that will have a devastating effect on all areas of the budget, including defense funding and domestic programs.
House Republicans also passed budgets that ended the Medicare guarantee, increased costs for seniors, don’t balance until 2040, and placed the burden on the backs of middle-class families and the most vulnerable while giving trillions more in tax cuts to the wealthy.
“We offer a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care with common sense solutions focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs.”
House Republicans certainly had a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act: they’ve voted for repeal more than 30 times. It’s the “replace” part of their pledge that’s tripped them up. After two years, they still have not produced a plan for how to replace health care reform and ensure Americans continue to receive the benefits that they’re already enjoying, like ending discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26.
Republicans also misplaced their priorities: while voting 33 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they apparently missed numerous polls that show Americans’ top priority is job creation, not the destruction of beneficial health care reform. [Kaiser Family Foundation]
“We will govern differently than past Congresses of both parties.”
This is one promise House Republicans have fulfilled – instead of working for the American people to get things done, they have shown a record level of obstruction and lack of legislative activity. [Reuters, 9/9/12]
Click here to read in pdf.