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NRP: This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington – Courtesy of the Office of Republican Whip Eric Cantor
January 20, 2010
We’re Baaaack! Congress returned last week, briefly, for the start of the second session of the 111th Congress. Since our last TWIW the Senate passed their version of the Health Care overhaul on a party line vote, former Democrat Congressman Parker Griffith (AL) switched parties to become a Republican, and Republicans had a huge victory in the Massachusetts Senate Race.

On Health Care, House and Senate Democrats are currently negotiating a final version behind closed doors (in direct conflict with President Obama’s numerous promises to open negotiations to the public). So much for transparency. Now there is talk of the White House trying to force Democratic House members to take up the Senate bill and pass it as final. It seems most liberal members of the House aren’t going to happy with that option. Stay tuned.

In other news, the State of the Union was just announced to be next Wednesday, January 27th. It was originally expected that the State of the Union would be in February, but it has been pushed up as a possible last ditch effort by the President to save Health Care.

Since there isn’t much happening legislatively, I figured I would do a little wrap-up of the past year for you. Much has been talked about Republicans being the Party of No, and although we have united to oppose harmful legislation proposed by the Democrats, Republicans have put forth common sense solutions over and over again, only to be ignored by Democrats. Below you will find a comparison of major Republican legislation proposed versus the Democrats “go-it-alone” efforts.

As always, please contact me if you need any additional information.

The Year in Review

1. Stimulus – “Twice the jobs at half the cost” was the main point of the Republican alternative to the Democrats $787 Billion wasteful “Stimulus” bill. The Democrats Stimulus bill promised to be the end all be all to solve the economic crisis and turned out to be the start of a spending spree that still continues. Democrats, including the Obama Administration, promised it would keep unemployment under 8%, and it quickly skyrocketed past 10%, where it still resides. The Republican plan costs half as much and focused on lowering taxes for families and small businesses. You can find the Republican Plan here, wasteful spending items in the Democratic Stimulus here and a comparison of the Democrat and Republican version here. House Republicans were united in their opposition.

2. Budget – “Spends Too Much, Taxes Too Much, and Borrows Too Much” is the basic summary of the Democratic Budget proposal. It assumed a deficit of almost $1.7 trillion without any long term control of the budget deficit. In addition to raises taxes in the heart of the recession, this blueprint allowed the Democrats to pass record increases in discretionary spending. The Republican Alternative, put together by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), puts America on a path to prosperity by curbing spending, controlling debt, and creating jobs. It rejects the Democrats’ big government strategy and puts its faith in individuals, small business and private sector investment to generate real growth. You can find information about the Democrats Budget here and the Republican Budget here. Republicans were once again united in their opposition.

3. Housing – The downturn in the housing market was one of the major causes of the recession and Democrats once again tried to throw money at the problem without trying to fix the root causes. It promised to reduce homeowners mortgages regardless of whether they misrepresented their income or assets or made bad decisions with their equity. It also rewarded lenders who didn’t follow proper lending standards. The Republican “Responsible Homeowners Act” aimed to keep families in their home while lowering costs for all homeowners, not just a select few. The Republican Plan also refused to reward those who created the problem by increasing enforcement of mortgage fraud and reduce the ability of the “bad players” to continue fleecing the American people. You can find details on the Democratic plan here and the Republican plan here. You can also find the State of Republican Policy on the Democratic Bill here.

4. Energy – Next up was the Democrats’ Cap & Trade legislation, also known as the National Energy Tax. An idea that President Obama was interviewed about on the campaign trail; the President stated that under his proposal electricity rates would sky rocket. Just what Americans need when they are struggling to make ends meet. Speaker Nancy Pelosi jammed this legislation through the House as part of her effort to “Save the Planet”, forcing many of her members to take a tough vote and arguably delaying action on health care. The Republican American Energy Act is an “All of the Above” energy strategy that increases production of American-made energy, promotes new, clean and renewable sources of energy, encourages greater efficiency and conservation, cuts government red-tape in the permitting process and reduces frivolous litigation. You can find details of the Democrats’ Cap & Trade bill here and details on the Republican American Energy Act here and talking points here.

5. Health Care – Where do we begin on this one? I’ll leave it to the talking points. You can view a thorough summary of the Democratic Health Care legislation here and talking points on why it’s bad medicine here. Republicans took a different approach to health care. Instead of putting unconstitutional mandates on the American people, Republicans opted to decrease the ranks of the insured by increasing access and lowering premiums for everyone while still ensuring that those with preexisting conditions can get insured. It protects seniors, is deficit neutral and contains no tax increases. You can view much more information on the Republican Health Care Plan here and here.

6. Financial Services Regulatory Reform – House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) really threw the kitchen sink at this one. His bill creates a permanent bailout fund, restricts access to credit for families and small businesses, creates yet another government bureaucracy and once again, costs American jobs. You can find the Statement of Republican policy opposing the legislation here and some talking points here. The Republican Alternative, “The Consumer Protection and Regulatory Act”, created by Republicans on the Financial Services Committee, puts an end to bailouts, ends taxpayer subsidies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, streamlines the regulatory agencies and streamlines our financial system. You can view the Republican alternative here and comments on the legislation from Republican Whip Eric Cantor here.

7. Jobs – While Democrats continue to throw money at the problem, even passing a second “stimulus” through the House before the end of the year, Republican Whip Eric Cantor created a Common Sense Jobs Proposal that would create jobs and cost nothing. Rep. Cantor handed his proposal to President Obama at the White House. You can view the proposal here.

Whew. That was a mouthful. And there’s plenty more, these were just the major issues debated last year. So much for no Republican ideas. Republicans certainly have ideas, but Democrats in Washington are unwilling to talk to us. We’ll be back with you next week with a look ahead to what might be coming up this year.

Jeff J. Burton
Office of the Republican Whip
Rep. Eric Cantor

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