Remember that “Pledge to America” House Republicans unleashed just over a year ago with promise after promise for a GOP House Majority?
We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with “must-pass” legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time. [GOP Pledge to America]
Now, flash forward to December of 2011—with 19 days left until the GOP increases taxes on 160 million Americans:
…In the Pledge to America, released by GOP leadership under much fanfare in September 2010, Republicans said they would “end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with ‘must-pass’ legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time,” they said.
They’ll be doing the exact opposite this week.
The year-end legislative package centered on extending the payroll tax has turned into a holiday tree filled with legislative ornaments ranging from the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the sale of broadband spectrum, an extension of jobless benefits, changes to Medicare and easing of certain environmental standards. [Politico, 12/11]
Even Senate Republicans are calling out the House GOP:
Senator Lindsey Graham: “The pipeline’s probably not going to sell.” [Meet the Press, 12/11]
…and for good reason. House Republicans aren’t only breaking a pledge, they’re risking a $1,500 tax hike on the typical middle class family and the loss of a lifeline for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
And today, instead of putting legislation on the floor that would create jobs or strengthen working families, the House GOP has filled the schedule with the very same resolutions they once railed against.
Then-Minority Leader John Boehner: “With all the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that Congress spends so much time on naming post offices, congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the birthdays of historical figures.” [AEI, 10/30/10].
Republicans need to start legislating the way they promised, come back to the table to work with Democrats for the good of the middle class, and focus on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.