This series is really long, isn’t it? I mean, did you ever realize how many bills have been passed by Democrats in the House, and are being blocked by Republicans in the Senate, just so they can try to make Democrats look bad,and win power back for themselves? Did you realize they had blocked 375 bills thus far? Also, please understand; this is the third installment, and even with all of these bill, I’m not posting every single one. I’m just trying to give you ammo that you can use with your inattentive friends, to make them realize what they would be voting for if they vote Republican this year. Really, to give you an idea of the number of bills they have blocked, by the time I’m finished, I will have only written about one quarter of the actual number of bills they blocked.
The Tea Party is right about one thing; the people in this country should be pissed off.right now. The government put us into the crapper, and they’re taking their sweet time getting us out of it. But anyone who’s pissed off at “the Democrats” for this is either phenomenally stupid or not paying attention.
Did you know the word “filibuster” derives from the Spanish and French words for “pirate”? That’s quite an appropriate description of the way Republicans are using it these days. They are hijacking the entire system and holding it for ransom. If you vote for them, you will validate their ploy; it will be the functional equivalent to not only paying ransom to the kidnapper, but refusing to have him arrested for kidnapping.
If you are a progressive, and you want to see progress in this government, you have no choice but to dig your heels in for the long haul, and vote for everyone with a “D” after their name, even if you have to hold your nose a little to do so. We have two jobs to do this election, and probably the next. We have to make clear in voters’ minds who the real enemies of democracy are, and they’re not Blue Dogs, who simply disagree with how things should be done, and they are not moderate independents. But we also have to show up at the polls in force. If we are going to beat back these loons, we have to show them our power, and we have to make clear that we are not to be messed with. If we want our democracy back, we have to get rid of the idiots who are blocking everything that might make our government work, and that means getting rid of the Republicans, who are under the impression that your life takes a backseat to their need for power. Can you imagine the chaos if we allow them to get away with it?
What follows are more of the bills Republicans are holding hostage in their blood lust for power. Once again; these are bills that Democrats passed in the House of Representatives, but which are currently being held hostage by Republicans in the Senate.
Put simply, DEMOCRATS are passing bills to make things easier, and REPUBLICANS are refusing to even allow an “up or down vote.” Got it? Show these lists to everyone who’s thinking of voting for someone without a “D” after their name. But just as importantly, show it to every whiner who bitches that there is no difference between the two major parties, or that Democrats are “Republican Lite.”
Democrats are trying to make our lives better, and Republicans are blocking them. One more time; these bills represent ONLY those that have been passed by Democrats in the House, and are being blocked from a vote in the Senate. This doesn’t include bills that originate in the Senate, and are being held up. These are measures that Democrats PASSED, and which would likely pass the Senate with a majority vote, if Republicans weren’t preventing the vote in the first place.
H.R. 1741 -- Witness Security and Protection Grant Program Act – In yet another example of how soft Republicans really are on crime, this bill would serve to strengthen protections for witnesses for homicides and serious felonies, such as rape. Essentially, it would provide block grants to states and local law enforcement agencies to help them get up to speed regarding best practices to prevent witness intimidation or tampering. This is yet another bill that costs a whopping $20 million per year, so they can’t even hang the “fiscal responsibility” tag on it. Put simply, Democrats want to spend a quarter per year per family of four to increase the likelihood that murderers and rapists get put away in prison, and Republicans are working against that.
H.R. 1796 – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act – This bill would establish mandatory consumer product safety standards for carbon monoxide detectors, provide grants to states to provide CO detectors for homes with low-income families, as well as buildings housing the elderly or children, and to create a public outreach program to educate people on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Given that carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that causes brain damage and death, and given that CO results in nearly 15,000 emergency room visits and nearly 500 deaths every year, this bill would save lives and health care dollars every year. The total cost of this program is about $13 million over five years, or which means it would cost a family of four less than a nickel per year. Compare that to the cost of a typical emergency room visit, or losing a close friend or relative from something so preventable. .
H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business Center Act – Here’s another head scratcher, to be sure. What would you say to a bill that helps veterans start their own business? It’s about perfect, right? If you don’t think so, I have two words for you; GI Bill. This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. In other words, folks, it would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country. And the Republicans are working against it. You have to wonder; do they hate the troops more, or the unemployed?
That’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to Democrats helping small businesses, and Republicans blocking them. About the time they were passing the very effective stimulus plan, Democrats in the House were passing a huge number of measures designed to help folks start or maintain small businesses. Check out all of these, and remind your small business owning friends that DEMOCRATS passed these bills, and REPUBLICANS are blocking votes on them.
In addition to the measure above, there was also H.R. 1807 – Educating Entrepreneurs through Today’s Technology Act – This bill would direct the Small Business Administration to contract with tech vendors to provide assistance to small businesses to get them up to speed with regard to technology. Essentially, it would help small businesses become stronger by providing free or inexpensive technical assistance to help them compete in the current economy. Republicans working against small businesses; imagine that…
Republicans are also blocking H.R. 1834 – Native American Business Development Enhancement Act, which would create an Office of Native American Affairs within the SBA, which would assist Native Americans in starting small businesses. As a point of reference, unemployment on some Indian reservations is currently running twice the rate as elsewhere.
Republicans are also blocking H.R. 1838 – Amending Small Business Act to modify certain provisions regarding women’s business centers, which would, as it reads, make the SBA more responsive to small businesses that apply for loans and grants at women’s business centers. They are blocking H.R. 1839 – To amend the Small Business Act to improve SCORE, which is the Service Corps of Retired Executives, which provides expertise to small businesses, to make them less likely to fail, and more likely to grow and create jobs. H.R. 1842 – Expanding Entrepreneurship Act is also being held hostage by Senate Republicans. This bill would create and expand small business entrepreneurial development programs, with the specific goal of using them as a catalyst for job creation. And they are blocking H.R. 1845 -- Small Business Development Centers Modernization Act, which would give a boost to SBDCs, providing business assistance that is often relied upon by small business owners to expand revenues and create jobs.
Seriously, folks; how many small businesses are hurting right now, and how many of them know that help would be on the way, if not for their Republican buddies holding it up? Once again, folks; ALL of the above bills were pushed through by DEMOCRATS in the House, and BLOCKED by REPUBLICANS in the Senate. I know I’m writing this a lot, but sometimes you have to repeat it to make it stick.
H.R. 1824 -- Best Buddies Empowerment for People with Intellectual Disabilities Act – I’m including this one because it’s flat out mean. This bill would increase grant funding for a well-established non-profit called Best Buddies International, an organization with chapters in high schools and college campuses all over the country, that pairs volunteers with intellectually disabled individuals, to increase their ability to function independently. The more intellectually disabled individuals can take care of themselves, and pay their own way in life, the better for all of us, in a variety of ways. In other words, it’s an investment; in the long run, creating more taxpayers means the rest of us pay less. Yet, Republicans are against this.
H.R. 1875 -- End the Trade Deficit Act – This bill would establish the Emergency Trade Deficit Commission, which would look at what is causing the enormous trade deficit that is turning our economy to dust, and to consider ways to address it and fix it. Why would Republicans be against fixing the trade deficit? They’re always whining about the federal budget deficit (at least when they’re not in charge); do they not realize that the trade deficit is probably the number one cause of the budget deficit? Buy American, right?
H.R. 1879 -- National Guard Employment Protection Act – This bill would grant greater employment and reemployment rights to individuals ordered to full-time National Guard duty by the Department of Defense. Currently, these rights are limited to the first five years only, and as we all now know, sometimes Republican presidents start wars and order National Guard troops to serve beyond their contract. Guess Republican Senators are more keen on protecting such presidents than the actual troops.
H.R. 1933 – A Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Center Act – This bill would provide coordination and guidance for law enforcement agencies, and pool their resources in order to find missing children more quickly. Once again; if this was for missing fetuses, one would have to think Republicans would be all over it. But it’s children, and they clearly do not care about them.
H.R. 2020 -- Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009 (I suppose it would have to be “of 2011” by now, huh?)– Why does it feel as if Republicans absolutely fear science and technology? This bill would make sure this country keeps up with the rest of the world when it comes to computers and information technology. That’s all. It provides for extensive coordination of research and development in areas having “the potential for significant contributions to national economic competitiveness and for other societal benefits.” I hate to break it to you folks, but other nations are way ahead of us in many technological areas, and we can’t even figure out what to do about the concept of net neutrality. Think our cell phones are nifty? Go to Japan or Finland. If you think we’re way ahead on web development, it’s because you can only speak English. For eight years, our government sat back and tried to push us back into the dark ages. We either catch up to the rest of the world, or we falter, and fall even farther down the economic ladder. And Republicans are blocking that progress.
H.R. 2093 – Clean Coastal Environment and Public Health Act – This bill would strengthen the Clean Water Act by directing the EPA to develop better standards for monitoring and assessment of coastal waterways. It would provide for better source identification and tracking of pollution sources, and it would increase testing for pathogens. In other words, it would take better care to insure that our beaches and recreational areas are safe for our kids to play in. It would also create a “rapid-testing” method to test for contamination in the case of spills. This bill doesn’t have a lot to do with the BP oil spill, but in the wake of that disaster, one would think that monitoring the health and safety of our waterways would be a little more important. But Republicans don’t care if you and your family are healthy, do they? By the cost of this program? A whopping $40 million, or 50 cents for every family of four in the country.
H.R. 2134, -- Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act – This bill would create a Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission, which would evaluate our policies regarding illegal drug supply reduction and interdiction. The commission would emphasize international drug policies and programs directed at countries in the Western Hemisphere. They would essentially report on the condition of the “drug war,” and tell us what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs serious improvement. When it’s finished with its report, the commission goes away within 60 days, so it’s not like it creates another layer to the bureaucracy. The drug war is failing, and failing badly. Apparently, Republicans just don’t care about that, either.
Discovering all of this is fun, folks. So far, we have proof that Republicans don’t care about children over the age of 0, they don’t care about the elderly, they couldn’t care less about the troops once they’re finished using them as cannon fodder, they don’t care about the disabled, and they really seem to hate small business owners, and want to do all they can to block their success.
And we’re not even halfway through the list of bills. More tomorrow…