fresh voices from the front lines of change







The August congressional recess is here, and many members of Congress will head home and touch base with their constituents. Some will have town halls. Others might conclude: better not.

Especially if you're a House Republican. Because then you might have to answer: What have you been doing instead of trying to create jobs?

Two months ago, MSNBC's Ari Melber tallied up all 183 bills the House Republican leadership put on the floor, and found only one had anything to do with creating jobs. And that was a bill to force the President to approve a single oil pipeline project that would create a few thousand jobs.

What's happened since?

No jobs bills have been voted on that were serious attempts at reaching the president's desk.

The most significant "jobs" bill was another attack at the President's energy policies, this one challenging the President's temerity to have tighter regulations on coastal oil drilling since the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. House Republicans claimed their bill expanding coastal drilling would create 1.2 million jobs ... over an unspecified time period. And that flimsy statistic came from an oil industry-backed "institute."

So House Republicans yet again didn't try very hard to create any jobs. Surely they must have been busy with more pressing matters, right?

Judge for yourself. Which of these was more important than working with Democrats to create jobs?

* Voting for the 40th time to repeal ObamaCare.

* Voting to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks following conception, an explicitly unconstitutional standard that punishes women who need abortions for medical reasons.

* After failing to pass legislation to cut food stamp funding by $20 billion – five times greater than in the Senate version – proposing new legislation to cut food stamps by $40 billion.

* Voting to send major regulations – which are issued when the executive branch implements laws enacted by Congress – back to Congress for another vote, effectively nullifying the power of the executive branch to implement laws as designed by our nation's founders.

Yes, those are the kind of junk bills that made it out of the House, only to be properly ignored by the Senate. That's why we now have the  "least productive Congress ever" despite the lingering jobs crisis. That's what your Republican leadership has been spending its time on, instead of trying to find a middle ground with Democrats on how to create more jobs.

To those Republicans who dare hold a town hall this month to explain this sorry record to their constitutions: Good luck with that.

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