The 2008 elections ushered in high hopes from Americans who were angry and righteously so, as our elected representatives to the House had strayed down the road of spending money and creating programs. 2008 saw the Tea Party and other grassroots organizations throw out a bunch of them, and elect their replacements. Well, seems there is a major problem when Freshman enter D.C.; they become spineless and are morphed into the collective, as though they become assimilated into The Borg. Below are two great illustrations from the Madison Project.
A Republican House Votes for a New Federal Program
We get the message. Despite all the tough talk during the 2010 elections, House Republicans have no plans to actually eliminate government programs, agencies, and God forbid – departments. But is it too much to ask that we not create new ones?
It is incredible that at a time when Republicans can use their control over the House to force consequential votes on big issues that embarrass Obama, they are beclowning themselves by passing dozens of ridiculous suspension bills. They could spend their time passing a clean TANF extension with a rider prohibiting Obama’s waivers for work requirements. They could repeal the ethanol mandate. They can repeal the Fed’s dual mandate of destruction (Humphry-Hawkins).
Here’s what Republicans had to say about the Pelosi Congress in their 2010 Pledge to America:
“The number of House legislative days devoted to action on noncontroversial and often insignificant “suspension” bills is up significantly in this Congress by comparison with the past several Congresses, wasting time and taxpayer resources. Of the bills considered under the suspension procedure – requiring 2/3 vote for passage – so far during this Congress, more than half were bills naming federal buildings, recognizing individuals or groups (like sports teams) for achievements, or supporting the designation of particular days, months, or weeks.”
Needless to say, Republicans have done the same thing. Yesterday, the leadership agreed to bring Democrat Rep. Lipinski’s bill to grow government to a floor vote under suspension. The “American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 5865)” would create a new board within the Department of Commerce to study ways to grow manufacturing in this country.
Here’s the report from the Republican Study Committee:
“The legislation also establishes an American Manufacturing Competitiveness Board, within the Department of Commerce. The Board shall consist of the Secretary of Commerce, as well as two Governors, of different political parties, after consulting with the National Governors Association. The President shall also appoint two other Board members who are current or former officials of the executive branch. The Board will also be comprised of 10 individuals from the private sector. The legislation establishes requirements for these private sector members, including that they have experience managing manufacturing companies with at least 100 employees. The Speaker of the House, as well as the majority leader of the Senate shall each appoint 3 members to the Board. The minority leader of the House, and the minority leader of the Senate shall also each appoint 2 members to the board. The board shall terminate 60 days after submitting their final report to Congress.
The Board is responsible for advising the President on issues affecting the nation’s manufacturing sector, as well as conducting a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector, and developing a national manufacturing competitiveness strategy.”
So 157 Republicans voted to spend another $15 million to create a new office to develop a competitive strategy for manufacturing? How about getting rid of the taxation, regulation, and litigation that is killing manufacturing? We don’t need another agency or board to study this nonsense. We need to eliminate the DOE, much of the DOI, the NLRB, and EPA. That’s how we assuage the competitive disadvantage that currently exists for the manufacturing sector.
Here is a color-coded presentation of how each Republican member voted. We are including it in our main legislation page.
As we noted earlier this week, the Continuing Resolution voted on in the House will increase spending, fund Obamacare, and extend the main welfare program without forcing Obama to reinstate work requirements. This bill is really an embarrassment to everything House Republicans professed to stand for. It will delay the major battles until March 27, 2013. And let me tell you, they will really really really take the Democrats’ lunch money then. Just wait and see.
The House passed the bill yesterday by a 329-91 margin. Only 70 Republicans voted no. It’s very telling that all but 21 Democrats voted for the CR, and half of the no votes were Blue Dogs who were trying to angle to the right in their tough reelection campaigns. Obviously, they didn’t feel they were being treated to a “Satan sandwich.” We were.
Click here to download the color-coded spreadsheet of the Republican vote from the Madison Performance Index.
Now the CR moves to the Senate where its passage is a forgone conclusion. House Republicans will vote on a resolution of disapproval against Obama’s waiver of welfare work requirements next week, but there is no guarantee that McConnell will force a vote in the Senate. Even if he does, Democrats will now have more leverage to oppose it. They can point to the fact that Republicans were willing to renew the TANF program in the CR without attaching a work requirement provision.
And that is pretty much the end of the 112th Congress, folks. That’s a rap…well, at least until the lame duck session – the session that was supposed to be eliminated as a result of the CR. From here on out, it’s all about the elections, but we must be prepared for a major showdown during the lame duck.
The Madison Project: Shedding Light on Real Conservative Voting Records
“Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?” – Ronald Reagan, 1975
Nearly 40 years later, third parties are still not viable and many of our elected Republicans are purveyors of pale pastel policies – ones that are barely distinguishable from Democrats.
Worse yet, during every election cycle, nearly every single Republican candidate is quick to promote cherished American values such as free enterprise and individual liberty while out on the campaign trail. However, once elected, a disheartening majority of these elected officials end up abandoning the very principles that got them elected. They talk the conservative talk at home and walk the statist walk in D.C. Worst of all, many of these members of the United States House of Representatives represent strong conservative states and districts. They’ve been able to hide their not-so-conservative performance…until now.