With Unfinished Business On The Table, House Republicans Are Packing Up And Going Home

In an unbelievable but sadly familiar act of irresponsibility, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced on Friday that after this week, the House will adjourn until after the November 6 elections.

The Party that is constantly accusing Democrats of stalling and inaction, is now picking up its marbles and going home with a pile of unfinished business that directly affects Americans from all walks of life. Cantor states that the decision was made due to the anticipated passage of a bill in the Senate to keep the government running beyond October 1 of this year. The bill has already been passed by the House.

The list of legislation that is being shelved for now is astounding. Some of it may be addressed, but with only two days of session work remaining, it is doubtful that anything will be accomplished.

  • The re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act The Senate passed a strong re-authorization bill last April in a bipartisan vote but the leadership in the House refused to bring it to the floor, instead coming up with a watered down version that excluded provisions to protect undocumented, LGBT and Native American women victims. Since the House and Senate bills differ, a reconciliation process is required.
  • The American Jobs Act Although Republicans are constantly claiming that the President has not come up with one single piece of legislation to get this country back to work, they have blocked legislation presented to them over a year ago to do precisely that. Despite their promises to focus on job creation in the last election cycle, they have yet to come up with a jobs proposal other than more tax cuts for the wealthy.

  • Sequestration Despite Speaker John Boehner’s assertion that stopping budget cuts would top the agenda for August and remain at the top in September, Republicans continue to refuse to work with the President to find ways to avoid the coming sequestration on January 2.
  • Tax Cuts For Working Families This past July, the Senate passed a bill extending tax cuts for annual incomes up to $250,000. Although it is agreed by all that the middle class should continue to enjoy the benefits of lower taxes in this hard economy, House Republicans refuse to bring it to a vote unless the Bush era tax cuts are preserved across the board.
  • The Farm Bill The current law is set to expire on September 30 and unless it is passed, 90 percent of funding to the Department of Agriculture could evaporate. This despite strong support for a 5-year farm bill from conservative organizations like the Farm Bureau Association.
  • Veterans Job Corps. Act Passed in the Senate with a 95-1 vote, with only Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) opposing, the Air Force Times reports that the Republican controlled House has shown “no interest in passing an Obama-initiated measure before the November elections.”
  • Wind Tax Credit The Senate may act to renew an expiring wind energy tax credit originally authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) but unless they get it done quickly, it won’t make the cut before the House goes home. At risk are American jobs. Walt Hornaday, president of Austin TX based Cielo Wind Power, said, “We haven’t had the industry come to a stop like this before in a long, long time.” His company is pursuing work in other countries but would otherwise be facing large layoffs. The uncertainty over the extension of the tax credit has already led to the layoffs of 92 people at Molded Fiber Glass.

Mr. Cantor and the rest of his ilk have no compunction about going home and leaving the work of the people unfinished. They are willing to allow people to continue to lose jobs, willing to have our veterans come home to no jobs, willing to ignore our farmers who are in desperate straights after a summer of unprecedented drought, willing to thumb their noses at hard working families, willing to abandon our commitment to keep women safe and willing to let the Draconian cuts embedded in sequestration take effect. And they’ll do it because they think it will reflect poorly on President Obama. They are betting that the American people are that stupid.

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at ARK Stories

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