Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement:
“While the Senate Republicans continue to distract from the American people’s business with this partisan power grab, the Senate remains distracted from the crucial work we must do to address skyrocketing health care costs, soaring gas prices and a pension crisis that are facing the American people today. Instead of continuing the bipartisan progress that we have completed so far this year, the Republican majority has instead decided to abuse their power and seek to break the traditions of the United States Senate.
“Democrats continue to stand with the American people in our efforts to address the issues that American families are facing. Instead of engaging in a partisan fight on the floor of the United States Senate, Democrats are prepared to do the work we were sent here to do and address rising health care costs, make retirement more secure, and address the needs of our troops, military families and veterans. I call on my Republican colleagues to stop this partisan power grab and focus on the people’s business. ”
REPUBLICANS DISTRACT THE SENATE FROM THE REAL WORK TO BE DONE
McConnell is Misguided in his Remarks. Senator McConnell claimed today that “what we have here is a further effort to make it impossible to do the peoples’ business here in the Senate…the normal way we do business around here is for action to be going on on the floor and additional action in committees at the same time.” [Congressional Record, 5/19/05]
But it is Republicans Who Refuse to do the People’s Business. Democrats are eager to confirm four circuit court judges but it is the Republican majority who has focused instead on a partisan power grab and divisive judges outside the mainstream. Democrats have called on the Senate to confirm Thomas Griffith, David McKeague, Susan Bieke-Neilson and Richard Griffin.
Democrats are Eager to Focus on the People’s Business. Democrats stand ready to focus on the people’s business. Democrats have key pieces of legislation on the Senate calendar to address a range of issues facing American families today. Instead of continuing to abuse their power, Republicans should join Democrats in addressing these issues.
Women’s Health Care. “The Prevention First Act of 2005” will reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions by increasing funding for family planning and ending health insurance discrimination against women. [S. 844]
Veterans’ Benefits. “The Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2005” will assist disabled veterans who, under current law, must choose to either receive their retirement pay or disability compensation. [S. 845]
Fiscal Responsibility. Democrats will move to restore fiscal discipline to government spending and extend the pay-as-you-go requirement. [S. 851]
Relief at the Pump. Democrats plan to halt the diversion of oil from the markets to the strategic petroleum reserve. By releasing oil from the reserve through a swap program, the plan will bring down prices at the pump. [S. 847]
Education. Democrats have a bill that will: strengthen head start and child care programs, improve elementary and secondary education, provide a roadmap for first generation and low-income college students, provide college tuition relief for students and their families, address the need for math, science and special education teachers, and make college affordable for all students. [S. 848]
Jobs. Democrats will work in support of legislation that guarantees overtime pay for workers and sets a fair minimum wage. [S. 846]
Energy Markets. Democrats work to prevent Enron-style market manipulation of electricity. [S. 870]
Corporate Taxation. Democrats make sure companies pay their fair share of taxes to the U.S. government instead of keeping profits overseas. [S. 872]
Standing with our troops. Democrats believe that putting America’s security first means standing up for our troops and their families. [S. 11]