The Democrats are so scared of losing control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections, that they are packing up and leaving D.C. to spend more time on the campaign trail.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced she is closing up shop on Thursday, but could skip town as early as Wednesday. Joining her on the cruise to nowhere, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) announced the Senate will adjourn on Friday.
The American people have an absentee Congress, whose leaders choose politics over getting work done. Pelosi and Reid promised much would be accomplished this year, but ended with not even completing the major spending and tax legislation needed to help the faltering economy.
The top 10 most important pieces of legislation left unfinished by the do-nothing Congress, led by Relosi and Reid include:
1. Cut Taxes: Thanks to the congressional Democrats’ inactino, every American will pay more taxes on January 1. Speaker Pelosi refuses to bring a vote to the House floor to extend the Bush tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year. Pelosi’s own party has turned against her, with many House Democrats pushing for a vote on tax rates before they face the voters in November. In the Senate, Majority Leader Reid is also denying a vote on extending the lower tax rates established in 2001 and 2003. Reid claims the tax rate extension legislation will be brought up during the lame-duck session after the election, assuming he’s re-elected himself.
2. Create Jobs: President Obama’s $862 stimulus bill — which was supposed to jumpstart the economy and create jobs — has been an epic failure. Unemployment in the U.S. remains over 9% and unemployment claims went up again in August, proving that Obama’s “Summer of Recovery” was merely political rhetoric. To create jobs, the Congress must cut taxes and government mandates (like ObamaCare) on small businesses owners, who will then start hiring again. Even though Reid’s home state of Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country, he just squanders his leadership position.
3. Make A Budget: The congressional Democrats and President Obama have not passed a budget this year to determine government spending. The entire federal government has been running all year on the 2009 budget resolution. The inability of Pelosi and Reid to get enough votes to pass their budget is indicative of the unpopularity of their big-government spending policies. The U.S. economy is a mess, and the Democrats can’t even pass a budget to plan for spending.
4. Appropriations Bills: The Democratic-controlled Congress has not passed any of the 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal 2011. Not. One. Instead, they have passed continuing resolutions, which are basically stop-gap measures to keep the government from shutting down while the bills are withering in committees.
5. Trade: The Chamber of Commerce is urging Congress to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) before they expire at the end of the year. The chamber, which represents small businesses’ interests in Washington, wrote to members of Congress that “GSP boosts the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and lowers the cost of consumer goods for American families. A chamber study found that moving GSP imports from the docks to the retail shelves supports tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.”
6. Stop the EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to bypass Congress and dictate rules to curb carbon gas emission. Prominent Democratic Senators Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.), Ben Nelson (D.-Neb.) and Byron Dorgan (D.-N.D.) co-sponsored a bill to stop the renegade EPA from regulating emissions from stationary sources. But their leader, Harry Reid, has not scheduled a floor vote on the bill.
7. Repeal ObamaCare’s Tax Burden: Small businesses are suffering under the Obamacare mandate to file a 1099 tax form to any vendor paid over $600 in a year. Over 40 million small businesses are required to file these new tax reports for healthcare, which is ten times more than Congress planned for a tax credit to offset the extra cost. Despite bipartisan support for repealing this Obamacare tax burden on employers, both the House and Senate have dithered.
8. Secure Our Borders: Reid has made immigration reform a top priority of his leadership in the Senate and has accomplished nothing. Our borders are just as porous as ever and immigration bills have stalled in the Senate, despite Reid’s rhetoric.
9. Pork Spending Reform: Pelosi promised to “bring transparency and openness to the budget process and to the use of earmarks.” Reid asserted that “the days of unlimited and unaccountable congressionally directed spending are gone.” But the Democratic leaders have consistently passed legislation laden with pork-barrel spending to benefit their home districts.
10. Ethics Trials for Rangel and Waters: The House Ethics Committee this summer charged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) with 13 ethical violations. Two weeks later, the committee charged Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) with three counts of ethical charges. Neither Rangel nor Waters ethics trials have been scheduled since he charges were announced. So, on Tuesday, all five Republican members of the committee called on the committee’s chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to schedule trials for Rangel and Waters before the November elections. While Lofgren has not found time to schedule ethical trials, she carved time out last week to invite comedian Steven Colbert to testify at a hearing on migrant workers.
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The Democrats have put a “Gone fishin’” sign on the outside of the U.S. Capitol. American families, meanwhile, are struggling to make ends meet in this bad economy. At this point, the voters have to get rid of the do-nothing Democrats in November, and then let the Republicans do the hard work of governing our nation.