House Democrats' Broken Promises

The House Republican leadership recently published a report titled “House Democrats’ Top 100 Broken Promises,” highlighting the intellectual dishonesty and string of broken pledges from the Democratic majority.

The report shows how Democrats have tried to weaken national security, retreat from the War on Terror, impose the largest tax hike in U.S. history, pass the most wasteful spending Congress has seen in years, create slush funds for secret earmarks, make gas and energy prices worse by increasing taxes and regulations, and avoid addressing the coming Social Security crisis.

Below are a few of the 100 broken promises detailed in the Republican report.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Prepared to Govern and Ready to Lead
Promise: “Democrats are prepared to govern and ready to lead.” — Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Press Release, Nov. 8, 2006.

Broken Promise: “Six months after taking over Congress, Democrats find they have accomplished little of their agenda. Perhaps not coincidentally, Congress’s job approval rating has reached a dramatic low.… If they can’t reverse the trend, some Democrats are starting to worry, their majority could be short-lived.” — “Democrats Promised Way More Than They’ve Delivered So Far,” Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Protect Social Security

Promise: “And we will ensure retirement security every day by protecting Social Security, protecting pensions and making savings easier for retirement for our seniors.” — Nancy Pelosi, Press Conference, July 28, 2006.

Broken Promise: “[The Democrats’] spending plan does nothing at all to address the problems facing the Social Security and Medicare systems, which are growing ever closer to spending more than they take in as the gigantic baby boom generation ages and retires.” — “A New Budget Proposal in No Way Unassuming,” The Republican (Springfield, Mass.), Editorial, May 17, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Eliminate Reliance on Foreign Oil

Promise: “To free America from dependence on foreign oil, we will achieve energy independence for America by 2020 by eliminating reliance on oil from the Middle East and other unstable regions of the world.” — Nancy Pelosi’s “A New Direction for America,” Page 6.

Broken Promise: During the first six months of the Democrat-controlled Congress, no energy independence legislation has been passed by the House, much less sent to the President. But 228 Democrats voted to impose more than $6.5 billion in new taxes on small and independent American energy producers, which will lead to less domestic supply, higher prices for consumers and an increase in America’s dependence on foreign sources. — Roll Call Vote #40 on Jan. 18, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Implement All 9/11 Commission Recommendations

Promise: “On the first day we control Congress, we will begin by passing all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.” — Nancy Pelosi, Press Release, July 21, 2006.

Broken Promise: “But the [9/11 bill] package will not include a reorganization of congressional oversight of the Homeland Security Department or an attempt to declassify the intelligence budget, despite the fact that those, too, were key recommendations. Although Democrats pledged during the election to implement all of the commission’s unfulfilled recommendations, aides now concede that doing so will be harder than they thought.” — “Dems Drop Some 9/11 Panel Proposals From Agenda,” CongressDaily AM, Dec. 15, 2006.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Support U.S. Troops in Harm’s Way

Promise: “Democrats will never cut off funding for our troops when they are in harm’s way…” — Nancy Pelosi in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, Jan. 19, 2007.
Broken Promise: “After months of denying that they were about to cut off funding for the troops or impose a rigid timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, the Democrats in Congress are about to do just that.” — “The Defeatist Democrats,” New York Sun, Editorial, March 9, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Fund Key Intelligence Programs

Promise: “This bill contains robust funding for critical intelligence programs.…”  — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Sylvestre Reyes (D.-Tex.), Floor Remarks, May 10, 2007.

Broken Promise: Democrats pledged to provide full funding for critical intelligence programs — but, just months after taking power, they took precious resources away from critical intelligence programs and used the money to fund research on global warming instead. “Led by U.S. Rep. Sylvestre Reyes of Texas, a coalition of D.C. Democrats say national security will be better served if CIA cash is used for global-warming research — because apparently there just aren’t enough people studying the issue out there.”  — “‘Intelligence’ Committee Threatens National Security,” Detroit News, Editorial, May 13, 2007.


Promise: “I believe there is virtually unanimous agreement in the Congress that we must secure our borders and know who is entering our country.”  — Then-House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.), Press Release, May 25, 2006.

Broken Promise: Just six months after Democrats took power in the House, 214 House Democrats voted against a Republican proposal to “provide the funds necessary for the construction of at least two layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barrier, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors pursuant to section 102(b)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1986.…”  — Roll Call Vote #490 on June 15, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Restore Fiscal Responsibility

Promise: “We will work together to lead the House of Representatives with a commitment to integrity, to civility and to fiscal responsibility.” —Nancy Pelosi, Press Release, Nov. 16, 2006.

Broken Promise: “Democrats resorted to begging, threatening and, worst of all, bribing members for their votes with $21 billion in pork-barrel projects.… Loading a bill that’s supposed to keep our soldier in bullets, boots and beans with pork-barrel bribes for congressional colleagues must be a low point in the history of the U.S. Congress. This destroys any pretense Democrats have to being a party of fiscal responsibility and good government.”  — “Buying Votes; Military Funding Bill a Stain on Congress,” The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Editorial, March 27, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Pass Budget Without Tax Hikes

Promise: “There are no tax increases in this [budget].” — Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Floor Remarks, March 29, 2007.

Broken Promise: “But both the House and Senate [Democratic] budgets implicitly require tax increases in the years ahead. Neither offers any guidance about where the needed extra revenue would come from.” — “House Budget Is Clear on Spending, Vague on Revenue,” New York Times, March 30, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax

Promise: “[T]he Wyden-Emanuel tax-reform plan … eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax…” — The Plan, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel & Bruce Reed, Page 138.

Broken Promise: Six months after taking power in Congress, Democrats have yet to move legislation of any kind to repeal or reform the AMT—a tax Democrats created. “House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D.-N.Y.) is believed to be considering a permanent exemption for households below a given income level, rather than repealing the AMT altogether, as some lawmakers have proposed.” — “Alternative Minimum Tax; Rein It In,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 16, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Adopt Honest Budgets

Promise: “[T]he new Democratic-led House takes America in a new direction: a fiscally responsible budget with the right priorities. Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt is a master of the budget, and he and his team have done an outstanding job reflecting the right American priorities and values.” — Nancy Pelosi, Press Release, March 21, 2007.

Broken Promise: American families don’t have the option of using gimmicks to put their family budgets in order. But such rules weren’t applied by House Democrats in crafting their budget, which is loaded with trickery that hardly reflects “American priorities and values.” “The House and Senate versions of the budget depend on ‘reserve funds’ to pay for additional spending.… There’s only one catch: The reserve funds are empty.” –“Democrats Banking on Empty Reserves,” Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: ‘Get Rid of All’ Earmarks

Promise: “Breaking with many Democrats, Ms. Pelosi also spoke out against earmarking billions of dollars for home-state projects, a practice she calls a ‘monster’ that hurts Congress. ‘I’d get rid of all of them,’ she says. ‘None of them is worth the skepticism, the cynicism the public has … and the fiscal irresponsibility of it.’” — “Pelosi Promises Fiscal Restraint if Democrats Win,” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2006.

Broken Promise: “In the bill funding EPA and Forest Service projects, Speaker Pelosi obtained $700,000 for a grant for San Francisco for use in the Lower Mission District.…” — “House Panel Approves ‘Earmarks’ for Lawmakers’ Home Districts, Associated Press, June 22, 2007.

“This year, the House approved a $504 billion Defense authorization bill. Among the requesters, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has one earmark in the bill, for $10 million for Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, as part of the military construction portion of the defense budget.” — “$8B of Pork: Dems Take 60 Percent,” The Hill, May 22, 2007.

DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: Ensure Members Have No Financial Interest in Earmarks They Sponsor

Promise: “Another key Democratic reform requires House members seeking earmarks to certify that neither they nor their spouses have any financial interest in the project.” — “In the Democratic Congress, Pork Still Gets Served,” Washington Post, May 24, 2007.
Broken Promise: “[Pelosi] requested $25 million for a project to improve the waterfront in her home district of San Francisco. Her request did not note that her family owns interests in four buildings near the proposed Pier 35 project.”  — “In the Democratic Congress, Pork Still Gets Served,” Washington Post, May 24, 2007. n