T Nation

Republican Obstruction


The minority of Senate Republicans are on track to block approximately triple the number of blocked bills, than the amount of legislation that was blocked in the previous Senate term (when the Republicans were the majority). Perhaps you remember last term’s Republican rallying cry of “give us an up-or-down vote!” when they complained that the Democratic minority was obstructionist. The Republicans even threatened to get rid of the filibuster. But now that the tables are turned, the Republicans are setting a pace for obstruction that could likely triple the last Senate’s levels.

The Democrats currently have a slight majority in the Senate, but they don’t have the 60 votes needed to bring a bill to the floor for an ‘up or down vote’. More information here.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/18218.html

I can’t help but think this obstructionism will hurt the Republicans during the next elections, because they have blocked legislation with broad popular support, such as:

Bill to raise the minimum wage
Bill that allows the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices
Bill that sets a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq (most Americans want this)

Most people would agree that a divided government provides some checks and balances. But this slight majority has only been the source of gridlock. I’ve got a feeling that the voters will vote for more progress and less gridlock in 2008.

Speaking of obstruction, President Bush has vetoed or threatened to veto 25 bills, in the first few months of this new Senate term. Compare that with Bush’s one single veto for the entire first 6 years of his presidency. Again, many of these bills are popular with the general public, and I think these vetos will hurt the Republicans come election time. The most recent veto threat is for a bipartisan bill that would expand health care coverage for children. The bill would expand health care coverage to low-income children who aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but who can’t afford private insurance on their own. Yup, Bush is going to veto that bill.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/18/AR2007071801434.html


“Democratic Obstruction” was one of the big campaign talking points for the Republicans, in the last election.

The irony is delicious.

Well, looking at the examples of obstruction you gave…We need more obstruction! They can feel to obstruct the growth of entitlement programs for all I care.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Well, looking at the examples of obstruction you gave…We need more obstruction! They can feel to obstruct the growth of entitlement programs for all I care. [/quote]

Exactly.

Where was all this whining and crying about the fillibuster last term? Oh yeah - it was the republican’s that were frustrated with it, so it got no press.

Now that the dems are getting a taste of their own medicine, the liberal press needs to step in and help out the life-hating, pro-terrorist left.

Yes it is frustrating - but that’s the way it is done.

No no no - we must give uneducated idiots even more incentive to stay behind the counter at McDoondoon’s.

It’s the govt’s responsibility to make sure their constituency has enough money to buy crack, and gas money.

I guess having a republic, with checks and balances, can be frustrating for some.

Those were awful examples to point out as “popular examples” of obstruction. Every middle manager I’ve talked to is bemoaning the federal minimum wage increase. Its not that hard: if it costs more to make, it costs more to buy. What exactly is the reasoning behind a FEDERAL minimum wage increase?

-Gendou

[quote]gendou57 wrote:
Those were awful examples to point out as “popular examples” of obstruction. Every middle manager I’ve talked to is bemoaning the federal minimum wage increase. Its not that hard: if it costs more to make, it costs more to buy. What exactly is the reasoning behind a FEDERAL minimum wage increase?

-Gendou[/quote]

It caters to the poor and to the unions. Its all about votes.

The Dems don’t give a rat’s ass about those people in any case — if they did, they’d do everything in their power to encourage capital formation and job creation, rather than attempting to tax, regulate, and punish.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
…Perhaps you remember last term’s Republican rallying cry of “give us an up-or-down vote!” when they complained that the Democratic minority was obstructionist. The Republicans even threatened to get rid of the filibuster. But now that the tables are turned, the Republicans are setting a pace for obstruction that could likely triple the last Senate’s levels.[/quote]

A little context is always nice. The Republicans demanded up and down votes in the case of judicial nominations. The filibuster is an arguably unconstitutional interference with the President’s appointment power because it changes the approval threshold set by the Constitution for approval of Presidential appointments. It was not some general attack on the filibuster – if the Senate wants to allow for filibusters in its general rules for its own functioning – particularly relating to its core function and power of legislation – more power to them.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:

Speaking of obstruction, President Bush has vetoed or threatened to veto 25 bills, in the first few months of this new Senate term. Compare that with Bush’s one single veto for the entire first 6 years of his presidency. Again, many of these bills are popular with the general public, and I think these vetos will hurt the Republicans come election time. The most recent veto threat is for a bipartisan bill that would expand health care coverage for children. The bill would expand health care coverage to low-income children who aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but who can’t afford private insurance on their own. Yup, Bush is going to veto that bill.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/18/AR2007071801434.html[/quote]

Is it actually surprising that the President would veto few if any bills when his own party was in charge of the legislature, and then would threaten or actually veto more bills when the opposition party is in control of the legislature?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Is it actually surprising that the President would veto few if any bills when his own party was in charge of the legislature, and then would threaten or actually veto more bills when the opposition party is in control of the legislature?[/quote]

Once again the point is hypocrisy. The Republicans campaigned on “Democratic Obstruction” as the party’s platform, but when the tables were turned a few months later, they tripled the obstruction. Is Republican hypocrisy surprising? No, it is not.

Duh, the Republicans campaigned on it, and it was one of the party’s main talking points in the media. Oh wait, maybe you’re saying that the majority party wasn’t getting any media coverage, because you’re crazy like that.

It’s really cool that you guys are against those popular programs. Please, insist that your local candidates take a stand against them too. Lets get them voted out of office, ASAP.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
It’s really cool that you guys are against those popular programs. Please, insist that your local candidates take a stand against them too. Lets get them voted out of office, ASAP.[/quote]

Popular /= In People’s Best Interests

What really kills it is that no one can see any kind of policy DEBATE and so understand exactly what the arguments are. I think voters today are woefully uninformed.

-Gendou

I guess those people making 200 bucks a week, working for the minimum wage, don’t realize that they’re actually hurting themselves if they make an extra 2 dollars an hour? Shit, those people should just get their fathers to pay for grad school, and stop working those crummy jobs. That’s probably the Republican solution, I guess… or maybe take your trust fund and start your own business, that type of thing.

In the meantime, some stats on minimum wage, including this:

[quote]There is no evidence of job loss from the last minimum wage increase.

A 1998 EPI study failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with the 1996-97 minimum wage increase. In fact, following the most recent increase in the minimum wage in 1996-97, the low-wage labor market performed better than it had in decades (e.g., lower unemployment rates, increased average hourly wages, increased family income, decreased poverty rates).

Studies of the 1990-91 federal minimum wage increase, as well as studies by David Card and Alan Krueger of several state minimum wage increases, also found no measurable negative impact on employment.

New economic models that look specifically at low-wage labor markets help explain why there is little evidence of job loss associated with minimum wage increases. These models recognize that employers may be able to absorb some of the costs of a wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.

A recent Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) study of state minimum wages found no evidence of negative employment effects on small businesses.[/quote]

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_minwagefacts

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
It’s really cool that you guys are against those popular programs. Please, insist that your local candidates take a stand against them too. Lets get them voted out of office, ASAP.[/quote]

Just because a program is popular does not mean it is a good idea. But I am sure you already knew that.

I love the elitist libs that think a person has to have the government step in and help them out - especially since the elitist left thinks that everyone but them are helpless idiots.

But as per your request - I do insist that my candidates have as little intrusion on my life and my choices as possible.

I would love to vote all the big gov’t money whores out of office. But if that were to happen, all we would have left in Washington would be coffee shops, and crack houses.

I wish to thank the founding fathers for the ability to stop the madness promulgated by the Left.

And Brad misses Boston’s excellent point. There is a huge difference in appointing Judicial Nominees and passing bills.