Washington Republicans tipsy from last Tuesday’s big national magic trick win by Trump say they are working hand in glove with the president-elect. House Speaker Paul Ryan was giddy Tuesday at a presser in DC about the possibilities new GOP majorities will exploit, with a popular yet untraditional White House signing bills into law that gut or reverse all the accomplishments Obama’s White House labored on.
Obstructionists like Ryan in the House and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate have shouldered no blame for the gridlock in DC that pundits have decried since Barack Obama lost his mojo in 2010, the year the Tea Party rose to prominence and GOP lawmakers took control of the House. After last Tuesday’s Great Loss election, Republicans not only retained control the House but they held the Senate, forcing Democrats to wage uphill battles for at least two more years until the mid-term elections when who’s dominant can change.
From the dawn of their obstructionist days, Republicans have never been challenged or charged by media as the real culprits behind the gridlock in DC. Simultaneously, Democrats, and especially President Obama now that he’s on his way out, have been asked to shoulder the blame for why 70 percent of the country says the nation is on the wrong track. Normalizing the notion that Donald Trump will be the next president seems to be the new mission media has foisted on Obama and Democrats in the aftermath of the Great Loss of 2016. But a quick look at legislative history shows Democrats have not been at the core of why work benefiting the very people who are angry at being left behind have been left behind.
Looking through a Democratic-sourced document called “650 Days Of This Republican Congress: By The Numbers” shows in detail to what lengths DC Republicans have gone to thwart, undercut and oppose commonsense remedies to many of the ills plaguing modern America’s working class. Reading them all is tiring, but worth the journey.
650: Days since the start of this Republican Congress as of October 16, 2016.
Only 264: Days the GOP House has been in session, 43 of which were pro-forma days in which the House gaveled in & out in a matter of minutes & no legislative business was completed.
53: Days the House was in recess this summer – the longest Congressional Summer Recess in modern history.
Only 243: Number of bills signed into law, with 217 of these bills (or 93%) being minor, noncontroversial bills passed under suspension. Only 20 of the bills signed have been significant – such as the SGR Fix, Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Omnibus Anti-Human Trafficking Bill, Bipartisan Budget Act, Every Student Succeeds Act, reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Puerto Rico Debt Restructuring bill.
15: Times House Republicans voted for measures attacking women’s health care so far this Congress. (2016 Vote #443, 2016 Vote #390, 2016 Vote #342, 2016 Vote #53, 2016 Vote #6, 2015 Vote #568, 2015 Vote #538, 2015 Vote #527, 2015 Vote #524, 2015 Vote #506, 2015 Vote #505, 2015 Vote #223, 2015 Vote #194, 2015 Vote #93, 2015 Vote #45)
12: Times the House GOP voted so far this Congress to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. (2016 Vote #563, 2016 Vote #351, 2016 Vote #53, 2016 Vote #6, 2015 Vote #568, 2015 Vote #376, 2015 Vote #375, 2015 Vote #183, 2015 Vote #142, 2015 Vote #58, 2015 Vote #45, 2015 Vote #14)
65: Times House Republicans voted to repeal or undermine the ACA since 2011.
126: Days that have passed since the worst mass shooting in American history – at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida – without ANY action by the GOP Congress to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic.
25: Hours House Democrats held a sit-in on the floor of the House to demand a vote on commonsense gun violence prevention legislation.
ZERO: Votes allowed by Speaker Ryan to combat the epidemic of gun violence and save lives.
28: Times House Republicans voted to block the “No Fly, No Buy” measure that prevents people on the Terrorist Watchlist from buying guns. (2016 Vote #559, 2016 Vote #524, 2016 Vote #505, 2016 Vote #489, 2016 Vote #439, 2016 Vote #415, 2016 Vote #408, 2016 Vote #406, 2016 Vote #387, 2016 Vote #375, 2016 Vote #352, 2016 Vote #347, 2016 Vote #345, 2016 Vote #343, 2016 Vote #337, 2016 Vote #304, 2016 Vote #299, 2016 Vote #36, 2016 Vote #21, 2016 Vote #4, 2016 Vote #2, 2015 Vote # 690, 2015 Vote #688, 2015 Vote #685, 2015 Vote #682, 2015 Vote #666, 2015 Vote #653, 2015 Vote #646)
ZERO: House Republicans have joined 181 House Democrats to sign the discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 1076, the “No Fly, No Buy” measure.
244: House Republicans voted to block debate on bipartisan legislation to expand and strengthen background checks in order to curb gun violence and keep the American people safe.
5: Times House Republicans voted against lifting the unconscionable 19-year-long ban on federal research on gun violence. (2016 Vote #77, 2016 Vote #69, 2016 Vote #65, 2016 Vote #55, 2016 Vote #48)
242: House Republicans voted against expanding the Department of Homeland Security’s overseas passenger security screening and vetting process to ensure the safety of airline passengers.
2: Times House GOP Rep. Fleming has noticed a privileged resolution on the floor of the House to force a vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. (7/14/2016, 9/13/2016)
NEVER: In the history of our democracy has the House of Representatives impeached a sub-cabinet level official, like IRS Commissioner.
ZERO: FY 2017 House GOP budget resolutions brought to the House floor for a vote this year, despite numerous promises by Speaker and former Budget Chair Paul Ryan.
99.6: Percent of tax cuts that would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans under Speaker Ryan’s Wrong Way tax plan.
$6.5 Trillion: Proposed cuts to key initiatives like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps in Ryan’s Road-to-Ruin budget proposal which wasn’t sufficiently harsh enough to garner support from House Republicans.
$269 billion: Tax breaks over 10 years House Republicans have passed for the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans in the country – 5,400 estates a year.
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against affirming climate change is real – twice. (2016 Vote #249, 2015 Vote #671)
ZERO: Comprehensive immigration reform bills brought to the floor by House Republican leaders this Congress.
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against allowing a vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision (H.J.Res. 22), which has created an explosion of secret special interest money in politics.
3: Times House Republicans voted against allowing a vote on the DISCLOSE Act, which would bring transparency to the unprecedented outside spending in our elections. (2016 Vote #239, 2016 Vote #196, 2015 Vote #629)
241: House Republicans voted against allowing the House to even debate the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would protect Americans’ most sacred right – the right to vote – by strengthening and restoring the Voting Rights Act
UNANIMOUS: The Republican vote to target LGBT Americans by supporting the Russell amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that effectively overturns President Obama’s historic executive order protecting LGBT workers in federal contracts, therefore enabling discrimination with taxpayer funds.
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against ensuring that LGBT schoolchildren are protected – by prohibiting discrimination against voucher students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
UNANIMOUS: The Republican vote in favor of the display of the Confederate Battle Flag at The Citadel and other institutions that train military officers with taxpayer funds.
4: Times House Republicans voted in support of the Confederate Battle Flag just last year. (2015 Vote #429, 2015 Vote #426, 2015 Vote #425, 2015 Vote #385)
2: Times House Republicans voted against allowing a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which gives women new tools to ensure equal pay for equal work. (2015 Vote #154, 2015 Vote #148)
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against allowing a vote to let American workers earn just seven job-protected paid sick days each year.
3: Times House Republicans voted against bringing up the student loan refinancing bill. (2016 Vote #565, 2016 Vote #500, 2015 Vote #132)
ZERO: House Republicans have joined 173 House Democrats on a discharge petition to bring H.R. 1434, “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” to the floor for a vote.
6: Times House GOP voted against allowing a vote on a robust long-term transportation and infrastructure bill, paid for, in part, by stopping companies from renouncing their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying their fair share of taxes at home. (2016 Vote #157, 2015 Vote #470; 2015 Vote #450, 2015 Vote #440, 2015 Vote #438, 2015 Vote #4)
9: Times House Republicans blocked the full emergency resources needed to combat the Zika virus. (2016 Vote #498, 2016 Vote #481, 2016 Vote #273, 2016 Vote #267, 2016 Vote #233, 2016 Vote #206, 2016 Vote #201, 2016 Vote #173, 2016 Vote #168)
ZERO: House Republicans have joined the 166 House Democrats who have signed a discharge petition to bring H.R. 5044, a bill to fully fund the President’s request to fight the Zika virus, to the floor for a vote.
2: Times House Republicans blocked adding $600 million in urgently needed resources to an Opioids Authorization bill to fund the bill’s new initiatives. (2016 Vote #190, 2016 Vote #182).
236: House Republicans voted against bringing up a bill to provide urgent help for the young children of Flint, Michigan affected by drinking poisoned water and to provide investments in Flint’s water infrastructure.
2: Times House Republicans voted against bringing up H.R. 4479, Families of Flint Act, to address the health emergency facing Flint residents. (2016 Vote #542, 2016 Vote #231)
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against bringing up a bill that would stop big corporations from renouncing their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
$8.2 million: Taxpayer dollars squandered so far during the House Republicans’ politically-motivated Benghazi Select Committee.
892: Days the Benghazi Select Committee has been ‘investigating,’ which is longer than the investigations of Pearl Harbor, Kennedy assassination, Iran-Contra, and Hurricane Katrina.
4: Hearings aforementioned Benghazi Select Committee has held since it was established in 2014.
More than 25,000: Pages of documents Planned Parenthood has produced to the three House Committees that have already investigated the organization – and which have found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Yet House Republicans refuse to end their abusive, unnecessary Select Committee to Attack Women’s Health.
241: Republicans voted against protecting America’s servicemembers and veterans from unscrupulous mortgage lenders’ dishonest financial practices.
99: Percent of House Republicans voted to allow predatory lenders on military bases.
241: Republicans voted against bringing the Help Hire Our Heroes Act – a bill to provide training resources for veterans seeking good-paying jobs – to the floor for a vote.
79: Days House Republicans let key components of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act – which provides health care to the heroes of 9/11 – lapse.
151: House Republicans voted to shut down the federal government a little more than one year ago on September 30, 2015.
167: House Republicans voted against a bipartisan budget agreement and NOT to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States on October 28, 2015.
235: House Republicans voted to Pay China first – before our troops & disabled veterans – in the event Republicans were to cause the first-ever default on our nation’s debt.
ZERO: Hearings held or planned this year by the House Budget Committee on the President’s FY 2017 budget – an unprecedented breach of protocol.
1.5 million: Private-sector jobs created or sustained by Export-Import Bank since 2007.
128: Days House Republicans let the charter for the EX-IM Bank lapse, killing jobs and undermining economic growth, before finally passing a House transportation bill that included an EX-IM Bank reauthorization.
8: Times House Republicans voted against renewing the job-creating Export-Import Bank. (2015 Vote #529, 2015 Vote #521, 2015 Vote #497, 2015 Vote #483, 2015 Vote #379, 2015 Vote #371, 2015 Vote #126, 2015 Vote #116)
218: Democrats and Republicans signed a discharge petition forcing a vote to reauthorize the EX-IM Bank.
313: Democrats and Republicans voted YES on passing the Kirk-Heitkamp bill to reauthorize the EX-IM Bank, after the House GOP Leadership spent months blocking this legislation from getting to the Floor.
6: Times GOP voted against bringing a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security to a vote even as a shutdown loomed in 2015. (2015 Vote #100, 2015 Vote #92, 2015 Vote #86, 2015 Vote #77, 2015 Vote #71, 2015 Vote #34)
$251 million: Cut to Amtrak funding passed by House Republican members of the Appropriations Committee one day after a deadly train accident in Philadelphia in 2015.
100: Percent of House Republicans voted against ensuring companies that use chemical substances or mixtures that can seep into the public water system provide state and federal agencies with data on how those chemicals could affect human health and the environment.
64: House Republicans voted against the long overdue rewrite of No Child Left Behind because it continued the civil rights legacy of public education in targeting federal spending to schools and districts with the highest concentration of low-income students.
9: House Republicans voted against naming a post-office for African-American poet Dr. Maya Angelou.
6: House Republicans voted against renaming a Department of Agriculture program to recruit women in science after Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to be elected to Congress.
75: Closed rules so far in this Republican Congress that limit debate and forbid amendments to bills when they are considered on the floor.
48: Closed rules in the first session of this Republican Congress alone, making it the Most Closed Session of Congress in history.
95: Percent of Committees in the Republican Congress chaired by men.