With the midterm election behind us and the lame duck of Congress in session, it is important that the newly elected Republican majority in House take the time to stand up for the American people and help us continue moving this country forward. Although I strongly believe Democrats have done more to help this staggering economy and improve the quality of life for Americans, I welcome the Republicans help and hope they are willing to work together in the name of progress.
So far, however, it has been somewhat confusing. On one hand, the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, recently endorsed President Obama’s moratorium of pork-barrel projects (known as "earmarks"). As a long time defender of using these special funding requests, McConnell has sought nearly $1 billion worth of earmarks, primarily benefiting his home state of Kentucky. Although he “does not apologize” for his actions, his reversal will help eliminate such wasteful spending.
On the other hand, the Republican leadership decided to postpone a bipartisan congressional meeting with the president at the White House due to scheduling conflicts. John Boehner told the White House that “the crush of business setting up the new Congress while juggling a lame duck session of the old one was too much”. If the new speaker of the House cannot manage a simple meeting with the President of the United States, how can we expect him to lead Congress? According to current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, “I can never remember an instance where President Bush asked the Democratic leadership to meet with him and we did not accommodate our schedule to that request.” This is not only a sign of disrespect, but also does not reveal a future of healthy cooperation and bipartisanship.
Obama wanted to hold the bipartisan meeting to discuss national issues following the midterm elections, including such economic issues as the possible extension of Bush tax cuts set to expire January 1. As I mentioned in my blog post, America in the Driver’s Seat, the Republican argument that these tax cuts would encourage small businesses, stimulate the economy, and create jobs are misleading and haven proven wrong since their enactment in 2001. Even BILLIONAIRE investor Warren Buffett agreed that “we should raise taxes on the very rich, and I think maybe we should cut taxes for the middle class." If one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs sees the benefits of letting the Bush tax cuts expire, I think it’s something to make note of.
Although the Republicans say they want to work with the Democrats, it is hard to imagine any talks of bipartisanship when the day after their victory, McConnell says, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” This proves that the Republicans are simply a party of NO, failing to put aside politics for the success of the American people.
They are against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the discriminatory policy preventing any American who wants to defend our country to do so; against extending unemployment benefits to millions of jobless Americans; against supporting the DREAM Act, which would award citizenship to illegal immigrants who have gone to college or served in the military; and against ratifying the new START treaty, a bilateral nuclear arms reduction agreement between the U.S. and Russia signed earlier this year. If ratified, the treaty will reduce Russia’s nuclear arsenal to the lowest level since the Cold War.
But, I guess when politics is put before policies, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”