We get the message. Despite all the tough talk during the 2010 elections, House Republicans have no plans to actually eliminate government programs, agencies, and God forbid – departments. But is it too much to ask that we not create new ones?
It is incredible that at a time when Republicans can use their control over the House to force consequential votes on big issues that embarrass Obama, they are beclowning themselves by passing dozens of ridiculous suspension bills. They could spend their time passing a clean TANF extension with a rider prohibiting Obama’s waivers for work requirements. They could repeal the ethanol mandate. They can repeal the Fed’s dual mandate of destruction (Humphry-Hawkins).
Here’s what Republicans had to say about the Pelosi Congress in their 2010 Pledge to America:
“The number of House legislative days devoted to action on noncontroversial and often insignificant “suspension” bills is up significantly in this Congress by comparison with the past several Congresses, wasting time and taxpayer resources. Of the bills considered under the suspension procedure – requiring 2/3 vote for passage – so far during this Congress, more than half were bills naming federal buildings, recognizing individuals or groups (like sports teams) for achievements, or supporting the designation of particular days, months, or weeks.”
Needless to say, Republicans have done the same thing. Yesterday, the leadership agreed to bring Democrat Rep. Lipinski’s bill to grow government to a floor vote under suspension. The “American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 5865)” would create a new board within the Department of Commerce to study ways to grow manufacturing in this country. Here’s the report from the Republican Study Committee:
“The legislation also establishes an American Manufacturing Competitiveness Board, within the Department of Commerce. The Board shall consist of the Secretary of Commerce, as well as two Governors, of different political parties, after consulting with the National Governors Association. The President shall also appoint two other Board members who are current or former officials of the executive branch. The Board will also be comprised of 10 individuals from the private sector. The legislation establishes requirements for these private sector members, including that they have experience managing manufacturing companies with at least 100 employees. The Speaker of the House, as well as the majority leader of the Senate shall each appoint 3 members to the Board. The minority leader of the House, and the minority leader of the Senate shall also each appoint 2 members to the board. The board shall terminate 60 days after submitting their final report to Congress.
The Board is responsible for advising the President on issues affecting the nation’s manufacturing sector, as well as conducting a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector, and developing a national manufacturing competitiveness strategy.”
So 157 Republicans voted to spend another $15 million to create a new office to develop a competitive strategy for manufacturing? How about getting rid of the taxation, regulation, and litigation that is killing manufacturing? We don’t need another agency or board to study this nonsense. We need to eliminate the DOE, much of the DOI, the NLRB, and EPA. That’s how we assuage the competitive disadvantage that currently exists for the manufacturing sector.
Here is a color-coded presentation of how each Republican member voted. We are including it in our main legislation page.