Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
As the Republican-led 114th Congress comes to an end, it’s clear that this Congress has become yet another closed, unproductive, do-nothing Congress:
Not in session: The House has been in session for just 217 days as of December 6, compared to 252 days in session at this same point during the Democratic-led 111th Congress.
Closed: There have been 75 closed rules so far this Congress – which limit debate, reduce transparency, and block Members from offering amendments on legislation – compared to 37 closed rules by the end of the Democratic-led 111th Congress.
No substance: Only 21 major pieces of legislation have been signed into law. A total of 248 bills have been signed into law, compared to 290 bills signed into law at this same point during the Democratic-led 111th Congress. Republicans have voted 12 times to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act this Congress – 65 times total.
Failing to Pass a Budget or Complete the Appropriations Process
Instead of fulfilling their promise of returning to regular order and passing a long-term budget, Republicans will pass another continuing resolution this week to fund the government beyond December 9. By failing to pass a budget and complete the appropriations process, Republican leaders are failing to govern responsibly:
Rep. Tom Cole: “…In my view we could have done, and should have done, an omnibus spending bill this year… It's our job to write the 2017 fiscal spending plan. We're going to do that, we did it we just haven’t enacted it, and instead we are going to pass a continuing resolution probably through the end of April…I think that's sloppy appropriating and budgeting.” [MSNBC, 12/1/16]
Rep. Charlie Dent: “If we can’t pass the appropriations bills now, we sure as hell won’t be able to do it in March, April or May.” [CQ, 12/5/16]
Sen. John McCain: “They’re harming the military and will do great damage to the military and our ability to defend the nation.” [Roll Call, 11/17/16]
“No matter how long the next stopgap bill lasts, it will mark a failure by Republican leaders in their quest to restore regular order and timely passage of appropriations this year.” [CQ, 12/2/16]
Ignoring the Priorities of the American People
As the 114th Congress comes to a close, House Republicans have also failed to address a number of other critical issues, including:
- Taking action to address gun violence in America;
- Taking up legislation to raise the minimum wage, secure equal pay, or offer paid sick and family leave;
- Addressing student debt;
- Putting our nation on a fiscally sustainable path;
- Fixing our broken immigration system; and
- Protecting voting rights.
Putting Politics Ahead of Their Constituents
Republicans in the 114th Congress continued to put politics ahead of the interests of their constituents, including shutting down the Export-Import Bank, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on the Select Committee on Benghazi as well as a partisan witch-hunt to attack women’s health, and voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act multiple times:
Shutting Down the Export-Import Bank: “Conservatives who say the bank represents ‘crony capitalism’ won a six-month shutdown of the bank in June of last year.” [The Hill, 9/12/16]
Wasting Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on the Select Committee on Benghazi: “After spending more than two years and $7 million, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report Tuesday that found — like eight investigations before it — no evidence of wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or other members of the Obama administration.” [Huffington Post, 6/28/16]
Wasting More Taxpayer Dollars on a Partisan Witch-Hunt to Attack Women’s Health: “Over the objection of Democrats, the House Committee on Administration voted…to approve an additional $800,000 for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The money is in addition to the panel’s previously approved $790,000 budget and puts it on track to spend more than $1.5 million by the end of the year.” [USA Today, 11/16/16]
Voting to Repeal the Affordable Care Act – With No Real Alternative: “[Republicans] voted to repeal the law—in whole or in part—dozens of times, yet they’ve never kept their many pledges to replace it.” [Atlantic, 6/22/16]
As the 114th Congress comes to a close and Republicans prepare to take control of both Congress and the White House, it is the responsibility of their leaders to govern and address the issues most important to the American people. House Democrats will continue to hold Republicans accountable and ensure the plurality of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump and his agenda are represented.
“It may be no exaggeration to call the current,
114th Congress the worst ever.”
[Norm Ornstein, 5/17/16]
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