Senator Harry Reid’s office says, “Senator [Mitch] McConnell likes to say that divided government is a great time to get things done – but that has not been the case under his leadership.” And the numbers prove it. From Republicans, we get a lot of sloganeering but very little in the way of any actual deeds.
Here are the facts:
“By every objective measure, Senator McConnell has led the least-productive divided-government Senate in the past three decades – including the Democratic Senate led by Senator Reid under President Bush.”
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service’s facts and figures, both sides most definitely DON’T do it:
Leader McConnell/President Obama, 2015-16
- Bills passed: 338
- Judicial nominations confirmed: 20
- Total civilian nominations confirmed: 255
Leader Reid/President Bush, 2007-08
- Bills passed: 466
- Judicial nominations confirmed: 58
- Total civilian nominations confirmed: 475
Yet Mitch McConnell is repeatedly on record talking about productivity:
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “And divided government is the perfect time to do hard stuff because together, no one can take political advantage of it.” [PBS Charlie Rose, 6/1/16]
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “Frequently, times of divided government are quite good times in terms of achieving things for the American people.” [Fox News Sunday, 1/26/14]
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “Divided government is the perfect time to do big things, the perfect time.” [NY Times, 11/14/11]
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “It’s also important to remember that some of these periods when you had divided government have been quite productive. I think of the second Clinton administration, with welfare reform, with balanced budgets, with trade agreements.” [Press Conference, 11/30/10]
Yet if you look at the record, this is not what has happened:
Rather than “big things” we have been treated to a clinic on entropy; a lot of “big words” rather than “big things,” and very little action. Sadly, the same is true in the House of Representatives, where Paul Ryan has turned talking about fixing problems without actually fixing them into an art form.
The GOP has become all about talk and bragging about fixing problems that aren’t really problems. It’s time for McConnell and his pal Paul Ryan to go, and for Republicans to make way for somebody who is willing to get things done. These people were elected to do a job, and in all the years he’s been there, Mitch McConnell has steadfastly refused to do it.