Republicans Chose Special Interests and Delay, Again

Posted on by Karina

This week, Congressional Republicans once again showed they are more interested in political games and siding with the special interests than working for the middle class.

Congressional Republicans sided with the failed policies of the Bush Administration and played a political game that delayed progress on the bipartisan COMPETES Act that would create more American jobs by investing in manufacturing and spurring innovation through research and development. Majority Leader Hoyer explains:

Republicans again refused to work together to help the middle class and continue creating jobs. Instead they chose to play a political game with a gotcha amendment intended solely to block the COMPETES Act, which is a key measure to create the jobs that will keep our nation the world's leader in research and development. I look forward to bringing this legislation back to the House Floor next week, and I hope Republicans will join us in advancing another job-creating bill through the House instead of focusing on the November election.

Congressional Republicans sided with insurance companies, calling for repeal of landmark health insurance reform legislation that benefits young adults, the middle class, women, and seniors. Republican Leader Boehner said:

We’re going to do everything we can to make sure this law never, ever goes into effect.

Congressional Republicans continued to deny or downplay signs of economic recovery–working hard to keep our small businesses and consumers from feeling any confidence in the American economy. House Republicans unanimously voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has strengthened our economy, created and saved as many as 2.8 million jobs, and gave a tax cut to small business and 98% of Americans. While Republican Leader Boehner asks ‘where are the jobs’–over the last three months, we have added an average of 187,000 jobs per month, in stark contrast to the 727,000 average lost per month in the last three months of the Bush Administration:

Jobs chart

A new analysis by USA Today this week revealed that the Recovery Act helped bring down tax bills to the lowest level since 1950:

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century…

News also came today of rising retail sales and industrial output:

Retail sales rose and industrial production powered ahead in April, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining steam and broadening out.

“It looks like a very solid recovery,” said Bob Mellman, senior economist at JP Morgan in New York.

And Senate Republicans sided with Big Oil (just as their House colleagues did on Home Star clean energy jobs bill last week), blocking legislation to protect taxpayers:

Yesterday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska objected to legislation to increase liability caps on oil companies, in the wake of the gulf oil spill disaster.

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey stated: “Either you want to fully protect the small businesses, individuals and communities devastated by a man-made disaster, this is not a natural disaster, this is a man-made disaster. Or you want to protect multi-billion dollar oil companies from being held fully accountable. Apparently there are some in the Senate who prefer to protect the oil companies.”

Congressional Republicans have voted against every major piece of economic legislation–from the Recovery Act to Wall Street reform–and this week, continued choosing the special interests over American workers, their families and small businesses. The Democratic-led Congress will continue to take America in a New Direction–creating good American jobs, lowering taxes for the middle class and small businesses, and building a strong new foundation for the economy and for Main Street. We're getting results.

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