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Middle Class Paying the Price after 400 Days of Republican Control of the House

For 400 days, Republicans have failed to offer a jobs agenda, voted to end the Medicare guarantee, and are once again threatening the payroll tax cut for middle class. 

Democrats have a different path. Democrats remain focused on our immediate priorities:

  • Extending the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans,
  • Extending unemployment benefits for the millions of Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own,
  • Ensuring tens of millions of seniors can continue to see the doctor of their choice under Medicare.

Democrats are committed to reigniting the American Dream and rebuilding the pillars of America that have made our economy strong: small businesses, entrepreneurs, and an all-inclusive and thriving middle class.

By the Numbers: GOP Do-Nothing No Jobs Agenda

400: Days Republicans have been in charge

0: GOP jobs agendas

2 million
: Jobs potentially destroyed under GOP bills

31: Times House GOP have voted against taking up Democratic jobs legislation, including China currency legislation that would help create 1 million American jobs

3: Times House GOP have voted to end the Medicare guarantee and protect tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires and corporations shipping jobs overseas

8: Times House GOP voted against urgent consideration of an extension of the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, including a bipartisan Senate compromise in December

229
: Number of House Republicans that voted to reject the bipartisan Senate compromise, risking a $1,000 tax hike for the typical American family and jeopardizing 600,000 American jobs by sending it to a non- existent conference committee to die

14: Times GOP have voted against the President’s American Jobs Act, or part of it

1.9 million
: Number of jobs that the President’s American Jobs Act is estimated to create

5: Times House GOP have brought our nation to the brink, creating economic uncertainty

1
: Number of jobs bills from the President enacted, due to Democratic pressure

Republicans Say NO as Democrats Fight to Create Jobs and Strengthen the Economy

Republicans have voted at least 31 times against Democratic proposals or efforts to consider proposals – several of which are bipartisan – to create or protect American jobs.  Republicans rejected urgent consideration of an extension of the payroll tax cut needed to stop a tax increase on 160 million working Americans and  efforts to discourage corporations from shipping American jobs overseas – and voted NO on taking up:  critical Make It In America initiatives, proposals to rebuild America, plans to strengthen American innovation, and efforts to level the playing field with China.  These include:

  • An American jobs effort to end government contracts rewarding corporations that ship American jobs overseas.  [Vote 19]
  • A measure to discourage outsourcing by denying the bill’s pro-corporation election rules for companies that ship American jobs overseas and leveling the playing field for workers in union elections. [Vote 868]
  • A measure that places a priority on keeping jobs in America, protecting the authority of the National Labor Relations Board to order an employer to maintain or restore jobs in the U.S. that would be otherwise outsourced to a foreign country. [Vote 710]
  • Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act – leveraging public dollars to strengthen the private sector, growing our economy by rebuilding America’s schools, hospitals, and transit projects, supported by American businesses, the construction industry, mayors and governors. [Vote 38, Vote 30, Vote 189
  • American Jobs Matter Act – to give preference in federal contracts to U.S. manufacturers that create jobs here at home. [Vote 257]
  • National Manufacturing Strategy Act, to demand a clear plan to help manufacturers compete, invest in innovation, and put Americans back to work, which passed the House in 2010 with overwhelming bipartisan support. [Vote 279, Vote 721]
  • A measure to promote jobs and innovation at home, by prioritizing patent applications from entities that pledge to develop or manufacture their products and technologies in the United States. [Vote 490]
  • Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Technology Act to help ensure the cars of the future are built here in the U.S., by investing in a broad range of near-term and long-term vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency, support domestic research and manufacturing, and lead to greater consumer choice of vehicle technologies and fuels. [Vote 310]
  • A measure to support American Manufacturers by giving priority to any company that uses materials made in America for the construction and renovation of school facilities. [Vote 693]
  • A measure to protect at least 10,000 American manufacturing jobs and provide disaster relief to families and business owners: approving bipartisan disaster aid passed by the Senate without slashing Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loans that put people to work producing cleaner cars and investing in innovation. [Vote 715]
  • Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to provide our government with effective tools to address unfair currency manipulation by countries like China, which could help create 1 million American manufacturing jobs by leveling the international playing field for American workers and businesses. [Vote 9, Vote 199, Vote 780, Vote 821, Vote 854] This bipartisan bill has 230 co-sponsors including 63 Republicans, yet the Republican leadership has blocked it.  Democrats have launched a process to force consideration of the measure; that petition has 178 of the 218 signatures needed.
  • A measure to ensure that American materials, rather than those imported from abroad, are used in the construction of new or existing structures for coal ash storage.  [Vote 792]
  • A Make It In America measure that prohibits the Coast Guard from purchasing textiles or apparel that are not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States. [Vote 829]
  • A measure requiring a vote on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance before December 16, 2011. [Vote 870, Vote 889, Vote 902]
  • A measure extending and expanding the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and ensuring that seniors still get to see the doctor of their choice, paid for by asking 300,000 people making more than $1 million a year to pay their fair share.[ Vote 918, Vote 925]
  • A measure expanding the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans with a typical family getting a $1,500 tax cut, paid for by asking 300,000 people making more than $1 million a year to pay their fair share, while preventing insider trading by Members of Congress by enacting the STOCK Act. [Vote 922]
  • The bipartisan Senate agreement extending the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans to avoid an imminent $1,000 tax increase for the typical family. [Vote 944, Vote 948]
  • A measure for middle class families, directing the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to eliminate subsidies for the five largest oil and gas companies and corporate jet owners, before gutting education initiatives that create jobs, spur growth, and invest in our future.  [Vote 676]
  • A measure to protect jobs for returning veterans by preventing incentives for small businesses to hire returning veterans from being swept away by GOP deregulatory efforts. [Vote 879]
  • A measure to allow Congress to make job-creating investments, instead of automatically freezing funding for Pell Grants and education programs for students, job benefits for veterans and job training for all Americans, and life-saving health research. [Vote 31]

Time and Again, Republicans through their Brinkmanship have Manufactured Crises, Creating Economic Uncertainty

  • Middle Class Tax Increase – At the end of 2011, House Republicans brought us to the brink of a tax increase on 160 million working Americans – even voting against a strongly bipartisan Senate compromise – only finally agreeing with the tax hike 8 days away. 
  • Manufacturing a Default Crisis – Throughout the summer, Republicans in Washington engaged in brinksmanship with the debt limit in order to insist upon a far-right ideological agenda.  This weakened our economy and led to Standard and Poor’s downgrading the U.S. credit rating of the United States from AAA to AA+.  S&P highlighted, “The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable…. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips.”  There was only one political party that was using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip.  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “The negotiations that took place over the summer disrupted financial markets and probably the economy as well.” [August 26]
  • Destroying American Jobs/Playing Politics with Disaster Relief – In September, Republicans passed legislation that held essential disaster relief hostage, insisting on cuts that would have cost 10,000 good-paying American jobs by slashing Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loans to produce cleaner American cars – a cut opposed by both the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
  • FAA Shutdown – Republican intransigence resulted in a 13-day shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that furloughed tens of thousands of construction workers and thousands of federal employees. House Republicans refused to reauthorize the FAA without including an anti-union provision that would make it harder for workers at airlines and railroads to unionize. Airline inspectors were forced to work without pay during the shutdown.
  • CR – Republicans played politics last spring with the government funding bill – threatening a government shutdown that according to analysts at Goldman Sachs “could shave 0.2 percent off the growth of Gross Domestic Product for every week it continued.”  Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) stated “Our economy can’t handle the instability that comes from the threat of a government shutdown.”
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