If you’re a voter and you’re pissed off, good. You should be pissed off, because this country is at a crossroads, and your government isn’t doing as much as it should to fix the problems we face.
But the entire government isn’t screwing us, and it won’t do anyone any good to send every single one of them packing. We need to know WHO to get rid of and who to keep.
This list makes it easy, folks. The entire Republican Party needs to go. THEY are the politicians who are blocking every piece of legislation designed to make your life better. THEY are the ones blocking every single bill that might make your life easier.
This post continues a list of bills that were passed by Democrats in Congress, and blocked by ALL of the Republicans in the Senate. Most of these bills had zero Republican votes in the House; a few of them had a handful of votes. A couple of them were even proposed by a Republican in the House. But every single one of these bills is being blocked by every single Republican in the Senate, all of whom are working in lockstep to prevent a vote. Keep in mind, there are enough Democrats willing to vote for these bills, most if not all of these bills could be law right now, if Republicans – ALL of them – weren’t using procedural measures to prevent the vote.
Let’s continue our list.
H.R. 1469 – Child Protection Improvements Act – The Republicans once again demonstrate how little they care about children once they’re out of the womb. This is a no-brainer bill designed to enhance and streamline the processes for doing background checks, including identifying criminal histories for those people who are looking for jobs that put them in close proximity to children. In what universe is this not an important bill? Republicans are actually preventing us from putting in place better protections for our children, and to keep pedophiles and child molesters far away from them.
H.R. 1511 – Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act – This bill designates appropriations for fiscal years 2010-2011 to assist domestic treatment centers for torture victims, including training of health care providers. Once again, what do Republicans have against helping those who need it.? This is about making sure people who come here as torture victims have a shot at the American Dream, just like the rest of us. That’s the problem with these Republicans; they talk a great game when it comes to claims of providing opportunity, but they simply do not want to do what is necessary to make it happen.
H.R. 1514 – Juvenile Accountability Block Grants Program Reauthorization Act – This bill does exactly what it says. It provides block grants to states to help them pay for juvenile justice. Those Republicans – tough on crime, but not so tough on criminals.
H.R. 1580 – Electronic Waste Research and Development Act – This bill would actually create research programs and grants to develop ways to make electronics more recyclable, to make them from materials that are more environmentally friendly and to create a better system of disposal of electronic equipment. In other words, folks, Republicans are blocking a bill that would make the creation and disposal of electronics, like cell phones, iPods and laptops more environmentally friendly, so that our children might not grow up to a poisonous planet. And lest you think they were simply trying to be “fiscally responsible,” the total cost of this bill would be $84 million (that’s an “m,” not a “b”) over 5 years. It’ll cost your family of four another quarter a year; think you can handle it?
H.R. 1585 -- FIT Kids Act – This would develop programs targeted to making our kids healthy, by teaching them healthy eating habits, monitor physical education programs and providing local school systems with grants to help them improve children’s health-related programs. Once again; what do Republicans have against children who are born?
H.R. 1617 – Department of Homeland Security Component Privacy Officer Act – So, this bill would change little to nothing about the Department of Homeland Security, except to create Privacy Officer positions in several areas of the Department, whose duty would be to protect the balance between our need for national security and our right to privacy. In other words, someone would provide oversight to make sure that someone in the government didn’t decide that, say, tapping everyone’s phone and violating their right to privacy was absolutely necessary to keep everyone safe. Do they get that, when we allow our rights to be compromised in order to fight terrorism, the terrorists win. Republicans seem to want the terrorists to win.
H.R. 1622 – Research and Development Programs for Natural Gas Vehicles – This is one that has to make you shake your head, you know? This bill would make yet another alternative fuel more viable, and save us some money, so Republicans have to be against it. It won’t cost a lot of money; about $25 million a year over 6 years. There’s another quarter a year to your family of four, so that we can use our domestic supply of natural gas to wean ourselves from that “foreign oil” Republicans have been whining about for years. Of course, we all know their whines have been a joke, haven’t we?
H.R. 1675 – Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 – This bill would strengthen programs that allow the poorest people in society, with serious long-term disabilities to live independently by providing affordable rental housing, as well as adequate voluntary services and support. Currently, there is a chronic shortage of such housing in many areas, and this legislation would create more. In other words, it would create more opportunities for the disabled to be more self-sufficient, which is something Republicans have always claimed they were in favor of.
H.R. 1709 – STEM Education Coordination Act – The acronym STEM refers to Science-Technology-Engineering-Math, and this bill would create a committee under the National Sciences and Technology Council, to create and coordinate education programs and activities designed to enhance those areas of study, and make the United States competitive again. Imagine a country in which we were training our own scientists and engineers, instead of training scientists and engineers for other countries, so that they can kick our asses on the world economic stage? Dare we dream? This type of program is small in scope, but it’s a very good investment, because we need people who are versed in science and math, in order to compete in the world economy. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, since Republicans have largely been anti-science for at least a decade. Oh – and once more, for those who think there’s a “fiscally responsible” purpose behind blocking this, this measure would cost $2 million per year – or about 2 cents per year for your family of four. They are also blocking H.R. 1736 – The International Science and Technology Cooperation Act, which would establish a committee under the NSTC that would coordinate with international science and technology efforts, with a goal of strengthening “US science and technology enterprise, improve economic and national security, and support US foreign policy goals.” If you need any more proof that Republicans hate science and fear the future, there you go.
H.R. 1722 --Telework Improvements Act – This is another bill that just makes sense, if you have ever experienced traffic in DC. The highways are jammed, the Metro is packed like sardines, and if you want to park at an outlying Metro lot and take the subway into town, you’d better get there about 5 AM, or there will be no parking available. And it all happens between about 7-9 AM and about 5-7 PM. This bill would create a framework whereby government employees could telecommute about 20% of the time during each two-week period, without adversely affecting their productivity. And in this case, government could lead by example; most of us could do a large portion of our jobs at home right now; imagine if you only had to go into the office 2-3 days per week instead of five. Better yet, imagine you’re a business and you could stagger your employees in-office days so that you needed fewer offices? And with 20% less traffic on the road some days… Republicans are against progress, folks; remember that.
H.R. 1727 -- Managing Arson Through Criminal History (MATCH) Act – Here is another bill from Republican Mary Bono Mack, which would create a national database of known convicted arsonists and bombers, that police agencies from all over the country could access, and possibly prevent major tragedies from occurring. This is another measure that just seems to make sense. If a known arsonist is in town, police should know it. Yet, Senate Republicans sit on it and prevent it from becoming law. So, when did the Republican Party become “soft on crime”?
Wow. That’s a lot more bills, isn’t it? Well, there are lots more coming tomorrow… Stay tuned.