Republicans are refusing to do their part in governing the country. They say "do it our way or we won't let anything get done at all." Their agenda is all ideology, all the time (and of course helping the wealthy). As a result We the People are on our own. We get no jobs programs, and no infrastructure: no dams, roads, bridges, high-speed rail or even highways. It's "My way and no highways."
Republicans Took House In 2010
Since taking the House in 2010, "Tea Party" Republicans have passed a flurry of bills that are not about governing, but about destroying government. They have continually held important items hostage -- the budget, the debt ceiling, etc. The House keeps passing bills designed not to get through the Senate, but to make supposedly ideological points, while Senate Republicans continue to filibuster pretty much everything the Senate has before it.
(Note that many of these House bills appear at first glance to be "ideological" but are actually bills that help specific industries and companies at the expense of other companies. For example, several bills help oil and coal companies fight companies that want to introduce innovative alternatives.)
Now, in order to keep the Congress non-functional, Republicans are even refusing to let the House and Senate set up a conference committee to work out differences in budget bills. The Hill explains, in "GOP blocks Reid from creating conference committee on budget":
"Senate Republicans on Tuesday prevented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) from setting up a budget conference. [. . .] A Republican aide said there was no reason to create a conference because President Obama won't drop his demand for tax increases."
Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo has his own take on why Republicans are blocking budget negotiations, in "Republicans Are Blocking Budget Negotiations Because The Debt Limit Is Too Far Away":
"What's left after you strip away all that obfuscation is that Republicans don't want to go to conference unconditionally because they're concerned their position won't hold politically and they'll ultimately be forced to swallow a compromise that includes tax increases -- unless the whole process gets swallowed by another debt limit fight."
No Serious Legislation
Republicans have passed very few bills -- only nine bills have become law so far in this session of Congress, according to GovTrack -- and the ones they are offering and passing are not about solving the country's problems. They are ideological, designed to score points. (Unless you really think tax cuts and deregulation will solve the country's problems")
Here is Eric Cantor's list of bills in the "House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators." ("Job creators" in Republican jargon means really, really rich people.) Here is a summary of the list:
- Bills to cut tax cuts for rich people and giant corporations
- Bills to cut regulations that protect working people and the environment,
- Bills that help certain huge companies at the expense of other companies (disapproving of Net Neutrality, killing regulation on Wall Street and oil & coal),
- Bills that keep government from doing its job to protect working people (gutting NLRB, etc.)
- Trade agreements that help giant multinationals and Wall Street at the expense of American companies and workers
In December 2011, The Washington Post summed up the first year of the Republican-controlled House: In 2011, fewer bills, fewer laws and plenty of blame:
"Congress is close to wrapping up one of its least productive sessions in recent memory, as the House and Senate have passed a scant number of bills compared with other non-election years, and President Obama has signed the fewest measures into law in at least two decades.
"Through Nov. 30, the House had passed 326 bills, the fewest in at least 10 non-election years ... By comparison, the House approved 970 bills in 2009 and 1,127 in 2007."
Then for 2012, USA Today wraps up this two-year stint of the Congress: This Congress could be least productive since 1947...
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