Democrats are getting a little irritable, but for good reason. We have a historically lazy Congress that spends all of its resources campaigning for Republicans on the taxpayers’ dime while the people’s business is neglected. Meanwhile, we are staring down yet another Republican shutdown of government over imaginary boogeymen in Planned Parenthood videos.
So Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) can hardly be blamed for blasting Republicans for failing to govern just to appease the right-wing of the Republican caucus. A right-wing that long ago jumped the reality shark and lives in dank, dark waters of epistemic closure that makes them look like raving lunatics to the rest of the country.
Levin’s opening statement during the markup for reconciliation today was very clear. Get serious and stop using the chamber to appease the right wing.
“There are so many serious issues that this committee could be grappling with today. Issues that could impact families across this country, issues that could draw inspiration from the Pope’s address to Congress just last Thursday,” Levin began, according to his prepared remarks. “No, today, we are seemingly taking the next step after the Speaker’s announcement on Friday to appease the right-wing of the Republican Conference.”
Then Levin laid it all on the table:
Want to avoid a government shutdown? Force the Speaker out.
Want to avoid a government shutdown? Attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Want to avoid a government shutdown? Find a new vehicle to defund women’s health care.
Yeah, that makes no sense. This “strategy” of Republicans makes no sense. It makes no sense because it isn’t meant to even work. They know it’s not going to work; they’re just trying to save their own hides in their misinformed districts.
Levin called them out on the ridiculousness of their charade, “Today’s markup is not a serious exercise in legislating. Everyone knows the President won’t sign this reconciliation bill. That may be one of the motivations for this bill – pure politics to send a bill to the President that he is sure to veto and be upheld.”
Cha-ching. More taxpayer dollars wasted.
Levin provided the clear path to actual legislating, “You know how this could all be avoided? Pass a CR with a combination of Democratic votes. Work with Democrats. Work with the Administration on a bipartisan basis to actually get something done. Do away with the majority of the Majority rule that strangulates bipartisan efforts.”
LOL. As if. This Republican Party wouldn’t be caught dead working with Democrats, even if it is the only way to do the job the people are paying them to do. After all, there are a lot of angry white people who must be appeased.
“This is a waste of time for Members of Congress, particularly as we close in on the end of another fiscal year without a responsible approach to the appropriations needed to keep our government functioning,” Levin charged. “These budget proposals are a blatant attempt to appeal to the far right, while the majority postpones having to actually govern until December. We ought to be focusing on things that matter to hard working Americans under the jurisdiction of this committee, including financing a long-term highway bill, impacting the TPP negotiations, and reforming our tax system to address income inequality and create good paying jobs in the U.S.”
Oh, kick-the-can isn’t a legitimate way to govern? Can anyone catch Speaker Boehner before he hightails it out of the House? Look! It’s a game of failure to take responsibility!
“Rather than working to keep the government open for a full year and provide security for our economy, Republicans are focused on pushing through these bills that effectively gut the Affordable Care Act and the protections that it provides to workers and families,” the Democrat said.
Republicans are working very hard to take affordable healthcare away from millions of people, because they promised that Obamacare would kill you and the Death Panels were coming for Sarah Palin’s baby, so now that none of those things have happened and you are actually getting insurance in a sane way that doesn’t involve indentured servitude, Republicans need to put an end to this Obamacare thing before it becomes as popular as Social Security. God forbid we have a country that puts people first, as the Pope called for.
When they get done taking away affordable health insurance, they’re working on increasing the abortion rate so they can sock it to Planned Parenthood. Yes, it’s all petty games of gotcha from the party that can’t govern.
But no one can accuse the Republicans of not being a wily bunch, getting y’all to fund their campaign ads with the endless investigations, including the Benghazi investigation which has now gone on longer than the Watergate probe.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.