My friend Tim Bryce has penned a column saying that all the Democrats have done since winning back the House of Representatives has been an attempt to unseat President Donald J. Trump. Well, let’s look at the facts as they can be found very easily if anyone really bothers to try.
As of February 12th of 2020 the 116th Congress under the leadership of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has passed nearly 400 bills and 291 of those have been bipartisan. The Senate led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has seen fit to allow just 70 of those bills to hit the floor to be debated and passed.
By the way of those 70 bills passed by Leader McConnell, the vast majority of them have been to take care of such important issues as naming post offices, as well as Veterans Affairs facilities. Some of the legislation worth noting were related to appropriations or extending programs like the National Flood Insurance Program or the 9/11 victim compensation fund and NAFTA 2.0.
Leader McConnell takes pride in calling himself the “grim reaper” of Democratic legislation. However, there are over 235 bipartisan House bills ready to hit the Senate floor addressing issues, like a universal background check bill, net neutrality, lowering prescription drugs, working to restructure and save the Affordable Care Act, protecting people with preexisting medical conditions, a number of Infrastructure bills and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act just to name a few of the items that are being held hostage by the majority leader.
So what has taken up so much of the time in the Senate that Leader McConnell needs to be done before getting to the bipartisan bills passed by the House and sent over to the upper chamber? Two things of note the first is to reshape the United States Justice system by confirming over 150 new conservative judges. Secondly, he is protecting a number of Senators who are up for reelection that would have to go on the record on issues that could cost him the control he loves above doing the business of the people.
So, how did the Republican-led Congress with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) do when he had McConnell on his side. During the 2017 and 2018 Congressional session, the two major legislative accomplishments of McConnell, Trump, and Ryan were a massive GOP tax cut and a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill in 2018.
They failed to fund the President’s signature campaign issue of “Building the wall on the southern border,” they failed to repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare), they failed to pass any meaningful Immigration laws, and the list goes on. Remember that from 2017 through 2018 the Republicans were in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House and they were only able to pass a tax bill that is proving less than as advertised.
The very end of Ryan’s time as the Speaker also saw Trump drive a government shutdown that continued into Pelosi’s taking over as House Speaker in 2019.
As the old saying goes if you don’t believe me here are the bipartisan bills waiting for the Senate to take them up. Feel free to look at them they are all online.
House Resolution 259 — Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019
- H.R. 271 — Condemning the Trump Administration’s Legal Campaign to Take Away Americans’ Health Care
- H.R. 986 — Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019
- H.R. 987 — Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act
- H.R. 1520, the Purple Book Continuity Act (bill aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs)
- H.R. 1503, the Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019 (bill aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs)
- H.R. 1 — For the People Act of 2019
- H.R. 5 — Equality Act
- H.R. 6 — American Dream and Promise Act
- H.R. 7 — Paycheck Fairness Act
- H.R. 124 — Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals
- H.R. 8 — Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
- H.R. 1112 — Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019
- H.R. 9 — Climate Action Now Act
- H.R. 1331 — Local Water Protection Act
- S. 47 — National Resources Management Act
- H.R. 2578 — National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2019
- H.R. 205, 1146, 1941 — Banning Offshore Drilling on Atlantic, Pacific, Eastern Gulf and ANWR Coasts
- H.R. 840 — Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act
- H.J. Res. 37 — Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress
- S.J. Res. 7 — To direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress
- H.R. 31 — Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019
- H.J. Res. 30 — Disapproving the President’s proposal to take an action relating to the application of certain sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation
- H.R. 4695 — Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act
- H.R. 676 — NATO Support Act
- H.R. 549 — Venezuela TPS Act
- H. Con. Res. 24 — Expressing the sense of Congress that the report of Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the public and to Congress
- H.R. 1585 — Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019
- H.R. 987 — Raise the Wage Act
- H.R. 1500 — Consumers First Act
- H.R. 1994 — SECURE Act/Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act
- H.R. 2722 — Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act
- H.R. 4617 — Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act
- H.R. 1644 — Save the Internet Act of 2019
- H.R. 2157 — Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019
- H.R. 397 — Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (The Butch Lewis Act)
- H.R. 2513 — The Corporate Transparency Act
- H.R. 269 — Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019
- H.R. 251 — Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act
- S.24 — Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019
- H.R. 430 — TANF Extension Act of 2019
- Concurring in the Senate Amendments to HR 251 — Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard Program Extension Act
- H.R. 790 — Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019
- HJ Res. 46 — Relating to a national emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019
- H Res. 183 — Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States, as amended
- H Res. 194 — Rule Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1644 and H.R. 2021
- H.R. 2480 — Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
- H.R. 375 — To amend the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes (also known as the “Carcieri Fix”)