Senate Democrats

The Bush White House and Republican Congress Ignore the People’s Business

Senate Democratic Communications Center Spokesman Jim Manley released the following statement in response to White House Spokesman Scott McClellan’s misguided suggestion that it is Democrats standing in the way of progress:

“The Bush White House and the radical Republicans in Congress are so obsessed with picking a fight over radical judges that they have lost grip with mainstream America. The American people are yearning for someone to do their business and it is Senate Democrats who are focused on the people’s agenda. Democrats are working on providing relief from soaring gas prices, skyrocketing health care costs, securing pensions and retirement, and addressing the needs of our troops, military families and veterans.

“Over the first months of this Congress, Democrats have worked with our Republican colleagues to pass the Class Action Bill, the Bankruptcy Bill and the Highway Bill along with the budget and supplemental funding to support our troops. Now, as we face gas prices squeezing American families, a pension crisis squeezing American seniors and crucial work ahead of us, the Republicans have decided to stop the work of the Senate to pursue their partisan power grab. If the president is serious about wanting to work on the problems in front of us, he will call on his colleagues in Congress to stop this abuse of power and continue the progress we’ve made on the people’s business.”


Fighting for the Promise of America

REPUBLICANS Back an Energy Bill That Will Do Nothing to Lower Prices, Consumption or Increase Production. Republicans support the president’s energy bill that has been judged by the Energy Information Agency to have a “negligible” effect with respect to production, consumption, imports, and energy prices. [EIA, “Summary Impacts of Modeled Provisions of the 2003 Conference Energy Bill” 2/04]

  • DEMOCRATS Are Working to Provide Immediate Price Relief to Consumers. Democrats are working to provide immediate gas prices relief to consumers today. Democrats support initiatives to defer delivery of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, call on OPEC to increase production in the short term and call on the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate price gouging at the pump. Democrats also support initiatives to prevent electricity market manipulation. [S. 847; S. 872]

REPUBLICANS Rejected Providing Support for the Perkins Loan Program. Republicans rejected an amendment that would have restored funding for the Perkins Vocational Loan program. These loans make college more affordable for millions of young people. The Perkins program was rejected 44-56. [RC 61, 3/17/05]

  • DEMOCRATS Fight to Provide New Opportunities for America’s Young People. Democrats are fighting to provide new opportunities in education for American families. Democrats are fighting to provide relief from skyrocketing college tuition, increasing the size and access to Pell Grants and supporting proven programs that encourage more young people to attend and succeed in college. [S. 848]

REPUBLICANS Rejected Increasing the Minimum Wage. Republicans rejected increasing the minimum wage, something Congress has not done since 1997. The amendment was rejected 46-49. [RC 26, 3/7/05]

  • DEMOCRATS Work to Expand Economic Opportunity for American Workers. Democrats understand that the most effective means of increasing opportunity for our families is a high quality, good paying job. Democrats will fight to restore overtime protection to 6 million workers and increase the minimum wage for 7.4 million workers. We must do more to create good jobs by eliminating tax incentives for companies that take jobs overseas, creating new jobs through an expansion of infrastructure programs to repair America’s backbone, and encouraging innovation in the American economy. [S. 846]

REPUBLICANS Rejected Medical Care for Veterans. Senate Republicans rejected a Democratic initiative to provide additional medical care to our nation’s veterans. Senate Republicans rejected an amendment that would have added nearly $2 billion in veterans’ benefits. The amendment was rejected 46-54. [RC 90, 4/12/05]

  • DEMOCRATS Fight to Protect the Rights of Our Veterans. Senate Democrats are working to ensure that no veteran must surrender a portion of their retirement pay when they also receive disability compensation. [S. 845]

REPUBLICANS Rejected Living Within Our Budget Means. Senate Republicans rejected an initiative to ensure that any new spending or tax cuts is fully paid for to set our nation on the course of fiscal discipline. The amendment was rejected 50-50. [RC 53, 3/16/05]

  • DEMOCRATS Are Fighting to Restore Fiscal Discipline for a Sound Future. Democrats are working to address the fiscal irresponsibility of the current Administration by imposing discipline today. Democrats are united to strengthen budgeting rules that require the government to live within its means. [S. 851]