Independent Investigations
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IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING (6)


Reason #6 – Republican Obstructionism

I have definitely found something that Republican political operatives are terrific at.  That something is obstructionism.  Republicans can holler and scream all they want but facts are facts.  The obstructionism exhibited by Republicans in Congress completely disrupted a significant portion of legislative efforts during President Obama’s time in office.   There is no surprise here.  It is a stated goal.

Do you remember that kid in your neighborhood who always had to have it his or her way?  Do you remember their threats to “take their ball and go home”?  Do you remember how you felt as a kid when one person completely dominated your choices as to what you were going to be doing on that day?  I remember dealing with them all through school.  We despised their attitudes.  They were basically bullies.  Welcome to the 111th and 112th Congress.

Those of us who legitimately look at the claims of the candidates can point to a very significant claim that Mitt Romney has made during his years running for President. (Recently repeated during the debates)  His claim is that he governs in a bipartisan way.  To prove his point he calls attention to the fact that during his term as Governor of Massachusetts he worked together with Democrats to get a significant number of legislative efforts passed.  In truth, yes he did.  In truth, he had no choice.  Romney’s political party was at a complete disadvantage during his term in office.  The legislature he had to deal with was more than 80% Democrat.  Here is an accurate way of describing why he was successful.  HE HAD NO CHOICE!  Had he not worked together with Democrats Massachusetts would have had a legislative stalemate of major proportions.  True enough, he could have vetoed legislation, but unfortunately his veto would have been overturned by a legislature that was largely Democratic in a largely Democratic State.  As a general rule, when one is outnumbered, unless you have significant firepower, you had better work with the majority.  Romney did not have any firepower and so he agreed to work with Democrats.

Romney’s calls for bipartisanship and his claims that he worked in a bipartisan way are at best hollow, and at worst manipulation of today’s electorate.  That is not to say that he did not work with the Democrats and the small number of Republicans he was tasked with working with.  He was outnumbered, he knew it, and he did what was politically expedient.

Now, fast-forward to today.  Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Senate.  However, they do not have enough Democratic votes to overcome any Republican filibuster attempts.  Knowing that, the Republicans set records for filibustering legislation in the 112th Congress.  Republican claims that they wanted to work with the President are not backed up by fact.  Here are the facts:

  • Mitch McConnell made the following statement to the National Journal. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  McConnell was true to his word as he led his fellow Republican Senators to block almost every legislative attempt by the Democratically-controlled Senate.
  • The number of cloture votes (for the purpose of breaking Republican filibusters) in the Senate were almost four times that of the Senate during the Bush Presidency.
  • Without 60 Democratic votes, the Democrats were powerless to overcome Republican obstructionism.
  • Republican Senators voted against legislation that they had made major contributions to.  They got what they wanted, and voted the legislation down anyway.
  • A failed Obama Presidency is, and was, the only real goal of Republicans in Congress over the past two Congressional terms.
  • For the first four years of the Bush Presidency there was an average of 33.25 cloture votes per year.
  • During the first two years of the Obama Presidency there was an average of 68.5 cloture votes per year.
  • During the second two years of the Obama Presidency there has been an average of 123 cloture votes per year.

Here are a few of the bills that Republicans kept from becoming law:

H.R. 12 – Paycheck Fairness Act
H.R. 448 — Elder Abuse Victims Act
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act
H.R. 515 – Radioactive Import Deterrence Act
H.R. 549 — National Bombing Prevention Act
H.R. 577 – Vision Care for Kids Act
H.R. 626 – Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act
H.R. 1029 – Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act
H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act
H.R. 1429 — Stop AIDS in Prison Act
H.R.5281 — DREAM Act
S.3985 — Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act
S.3816 — Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act
S.3369 — A bill to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities
S.2237 — Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act
S.2343 — Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act
S.1660 — American Jobs Act of 2011
S.3457 — Veterans Jobs Corps Act

Recently every Republican Senator voted to filibuster the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — basically, healthcare for 9/11 heroes.  Do you suppose they claimed there typical patriotic reasons and waived the American flag and proudly wore the American flag pins on their lapels as they voted this down?  Meanwhile the heroes who sacrificed their own personal health in an attempt to rescue those killed on 9/11 suffer without well-earned compensation.

One of my favorite examples of Republican obstructionism is the fact that they filibustered  S.2204 the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act”.  Anyone shocked that they would not hold their major campaign contributors to task out of fear that their financial support would dry up?

Notice also that they stopped several bills designed to assist our war Veterans from receiving assistance after they got back from serving our country in a war foisted on the American people by the previous Republican Administration.

So, as we move closer to November 6th, when you hear claims from Mitt Romney that he worked in a bipartisan way during his term as Governor of Massachusetts and that he will work in the same manner after he is elected President, take a good look at the real situation.

If, by chance, Romney is elected, he will not face a Senate that is so hostile to his Presidency that they will sacrifice the needs of the country to make sure he is a one-term President.  Only President Obama faced that environment.

The promised and fulfilled obstructionist activities of the Republican Party are a major reason why I and many others will not vote for any Republican during this election cycle.

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