At every step, the Republican Party has chosen obstruction over progress. As House Republican Whip Eric Cantor told the Washington Post, the Republican Party’s approach to the Obama agenda is “just saying no.”
On February 26, President Obama proposed a groundbreaking federal budget that will end fiscal gimmickry, restore honesty and accountability to the process, and make critical investments to rebuild and renew America. But Republicans continue to just say no. "No," they will not support the President’s plan. And, more importantly, "no" they will not present an alternative of their own.
Boehner: Republican Lawmakers “Ought to Get the Idea Out of their Minds That They are Legislators.”
“’As I told my colleagues, we don’t have enough votes to legislate,’ said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader. ‘We are not in the majority. We are not kind-of in the minority; we are in a hole. They ought to get the idea out of their minds that they are legislators. But what they can be is communicators.’” [New York Times, 3/14/09]
Boehner: "We Are No Longer Legislators."
“Rep. John Boehner has a message for his GOP colleagues in the House: ‘We are no longer legislators.’ That might seem like an odd thing for the Republican leader to say, but given the size of the Democratic majority, House rules that give the majority near-total control, and the desire of the House Democrats to exercise that control, Boehner's options for legislating are rather limited. At one point in his leisurely lunch with reporters-something he now has more time for-he was asked about the schedule for energy reform legislation in the House. ‘I have no idea,’ Boehner responded. ‘I'm not in the majority.’” [Slate, 2/26/09]
Cantor: GOP Recovery Strategy is “Just Saying No.”
“The second-ranking House Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor ( Va. ), put it more bluntly. ‘What transpired . . . and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 2/9/09]
Despite Bipartisan Outreach, Every Single House Republican Voted Against Bill to Create or Save 3.5 Million Jobs.
“Without a single Republican vote, President Obama won House approval on Wednesday for an $819 billion economic recovery plan as Congressional Democrats sought to temper their own differences over the enormous package of tax cuts and spending…. All but 11 Democrats voted for the plan, and 177 Republicans voted against it. The 244-to-188 vote came a day after Mr. Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to seek Republican backing, if not for the package then on other issues to come.” [New York Times, 1/29/09]
All But Three Senate Republicans Voted Against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Obama signed the stimulus package into law February 17. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the plan will create between 1 million and 3 million jobs. The package passed Congress on a virtual party-line vote, with no Republicans supporting it in the House and only three Republicans voting for it in the Senate.” [CNN, 3/6/09]
RNC Chairman Threatens To Withhold RNC Funds From GOP Senators Who Backed Stimulus.
“On Fox News, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele said he was open to withholding RNC funds from the three GOP Senators who backed President Obama’s stimulus package… Speaking of Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, Steele said that the Senators were likely to face primaries as a result of their vote for the stimulus bill. Then Steele was asked by Fox’s Neil Cavuto: ‘Will you, as RNC head, recommend no RNC funds being provided to help them?’ Steele confirmed that he would ‘talk to the state parties about.’ When pressed on whether he was open to it, Steele said: ‘Oh, yes, I’m always open to everything, baby, absolutely.’” [Washington Post, Plum Line blog, 2/24/09]
Republicans Oppose SCHIP Expansion: Bill to Provide Health Care for 11 Million Children Passes “Largely Along Party Lines.”
“The Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to provide health insurance to 11 million low-income children, a bill that would for the first time spend federal money to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants. Lawmakers voted 66 to 32, largely along party lines, to renew the joint state-federal program and spend an additional $32.8 billion to expand coverage to 4 million more children.” [Washington Post, 1/29/09]
Republicans Opposed Equal Pay Act, Bill Passes in Party Line Vote.
“President Obama signed his first bill Thursday, a gender pay equity law that had been a hallmark of his campaign for the White House… Earlier this month, the Democratic-run Congress voted largely along party lines to essentially reverse that ruling with a new law that extends the deadline every time a discriminatory pay check is issued.” [USA Today, 1/29/09]
Leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh: “I Hope he Fails."
“In his broadcast on Jan. 16, Limbaugh told listeners he had been asked by a major publication for a 400-word statement about his hopes for the new administration: ‘I'm thinking of replying to the guy, ‘OK, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words. I need four: I hope he fails.’ …Then, exacerbating the wound, Limbaugh added this in an interview on Sean Hannity's Jan. 21 show on Fox News: ‘We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president.’ Limbaugh would repeat some variant of this remark at least four more times in the next month and a half. Really, President Obama could not have asked for more: Limbaugh gets an audience, Obama gets a target and Republicans get the blame.” [Newsweek, 3/16/09]
RNC Chairman Apologizes for Criticizing Limbaugh.
“Two days after calling conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh a mere ‘entertainer’ with an ‘incendiary’ talk show, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele apologized and acknowledged him as a ‘national conservative leader.’ ‘To the extent that my remarks helped the Democrats in Washington to take the focus, even for one minute, off of their irresponsible expansion of government, I truly apologize,’ Steele said late Monday.” [AP, 3/3/09]
Congressional Republicans “Rally Against Obama On Stem Cells.”
“However, not included in that ‘consensus,’ are conservatives and Republican lawmakers and organizations that have started an opposition rally cry... House Republican Leader John Boehner said the president’s repeal of the ban, ‘runs counter to President Obama’s promise to be a president for all Americans. For a third time in his young presidency, the president has rolled back important protections for innocent life, further dividing our nation at a time when we need greater unity to tackle the challenges before us.’ …The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, called the president’s reversal of former president George W. Bush's 2001 ban a ‘troubling shift.’ ‘With this announcement, the government is, for the first time, incentivizing the creation and destruction of human embryos at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer,’ McConnell said. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor released a statement which said, ‘unfortunately, today the Administration wasted an opportunity to unite our country around these ethically and scientifically sound innovations by allowing the use of taxpayer money for embryo-destructive stem cell research, which millions of Americans find morally reprehensible. This divisive action will divert scarce federal resources away from innovative and proven adult stem cell research.’” [CBS News, 3/9/09]