Washington, DC — On the Senate’s 100th day of legislative business and as the Senate approaches the August recess, it is appropriate to take stock of what the Senate has accomplished this year.
“In the past 100 days, Republicans found time to confirm right-wing judges, to protect Karl Rove and to take up the business of their special interest friends. But at the same time, they couldn’t spend an extra day supporting our troops or helping families afford health care. It’s a record that reveals how out of touch Republicans have become. There are not many days left on the Senate Calendar, but there is still time for Republicans to stop doing the business of a radical few and to join Democrats in taking up a common-sense reform agenda that works for America’s families,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
A quick review shows the Republican agenda has been one focused on special interests and a narrow minority that caters to the radical right. After spending at least 46 legislative days wasted on this out of touch agenda, it is no surprise the American people feel the Republican Congress has misplaced priorities.
REPUBLICANS’ FOCUS THIS YEAR:
Radical Judges, Over 30 Days: The Republican majority used over 30 days of the Senate’s time to pick a fight over radical judges and to find jobs for five people who were already gainfully employed. [Congressional Record]
Bankruptcy, 9 Days: The Republican majority used 9 days of the Senate’s time to pursue special interest legislation that benefited few Americans. [Congressional Record]
Class Action, 4 Days: The Republican majority used 4 days of the Senate’s time to pursue special interest legislation that benefited a narrow minority. [Congressional Record]
Putting Aside Our Country’s Defense, 3 Days: “Senate Republican leaders decided Tuesday that a gun manufacturers’ liability bill is more important than next year’s $441.6 billion defense authorization bill. With Democrats expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons’ purchases and research, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate Republican leader, decided Tuesday that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority.” [Army Times, 7/26/05]
WHAT REPUBLICANS HAVE IGNORED:
Health Care: The Republican majority has not spent a single day on the Senate floor focused on the health care crisis in this country. With 45 million Americans without health care and prices skyrocketing, the Senate has failed to address this issue. [Congressional Record]
Protecting Americans from Terrorism: The Republican majority rejected Democratic efforts to increase protection for our rail and transit systems and also failed to find time to help keep the most dangerous weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists. [RC 184, S. Amdt. 1218 to HR 2360, 7/14/05]
Retirement Security: While the Republican majority has spent months using hot rhetoric about dismantling Social Security through their privatization schemes, the Senate has not spent a single day working to strengthen Social Security, address the pension crisis or increasing savings among Americans. [Congressional Record]
Veterans Health Care: By making the Gun Liability Bill a higher priority than the Defense Authorization Bill, Senate Republicans have stripped the Senate the opportunity to fully fund veterans’ health care. [Congressional Record]
Education: As Americans continue to struggle with the rising cost of college tuition, the Senate has not spent a single day to help more Americans achieve the American Dream by making a college education more attainable. [Congressional Record]
Guard and Reserves: The Senate has failed to address the concerns of the National Guard and Reserves while they are being depended on like never before in our history. The Senate has failed to address the crucial issues of health care, child care and pay that these soldiers have deserve to have addressed. [Congressional Record]