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GOP needs to grow up, get back to work

By Roland S. Martin, Special to CNN
  • Roland Martin says GOP lawmakers are like spoiled brats since health care reform passed
  • He says Sens. McCain and Graham promise no more legislative cooperation this year
  • He asks: Don't we send grownups to Washington to handle the people's business?
  • Martin: Many issues need urgent attention; GOP needs to grow up and get to work

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith," and the new book, "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of a one-hour Sunday morning news show.

(CNN) -- Republicans on Capitol Hill are acting like spoiled brats after Democrats snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by passing health care reform.

On the day President Obama signed the bill into law, Sen. John McCain, who often touts his ability to work across the aisle, said Republicans will no longer cooperate with Democrats because of the passage of health care.

In an interview with an Arizona radio station, McCain said: "There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

Senator Lindsey Graham, a major player in crafting immigration reform legislation, said that legislation is "dead" this year as a result of the Democrats voting to approve health care reform. (Graham says he will still take part in negotiations with Democrats on a bill to address climate change issues.)

These two men sound like pouty kids who lost a game and then take their ball and go home.

I thought we were supposed to send grown people to Washington to handle the people's business.

We are used to seeing members of the opposite party express their displeasure with legislation. But saying no cooperation for the rest of the year? Dumb.

There are crucial issues facing Americans right now. No, not Americans who are Democrats, not Americans who vote Republican, but Americans who want to see movement on improving schools and roads, reforming the banking industry and other vital issues.

This is where President Obama should say the heck with all of this partisan nonsense. He should say, "Either you get in the game or get out of the way."

We have been debating for years about immigration reform. Right now, an estimated 12 million folks are in the nation illegally. It is affecting our local, state and national economy, our schools, hospitals and other vital areas. So why should confronting that be put on the back burner because Sen. Lindsey Graham has a burr under his saddle?

The nation's schools are in shambles and President Obama wants to make massive changes to the No Child Left Behind Act. Unions are not too enthused with the bill, and Republicans want there to be more accountability for the dramatic amount of money being earmarked for expanding the initiative.

So are we supposed to tell our schoolchildren that they should forget the need for more early childhood learning, more dollars to hire better teachers and improve low-performing schools?

American taxpayers have been totally screwed by Wall Street. Their reckless behavior tanked our economy. We saved their jobs with billions of dollars, and they turned around and rewarded themselves with billions in bonuses. Had Americans not given them money, there would have been no jobs and no bonuses!

So, the Senate has now undertaken financial regulatory reform, and Republicans simply refuse to even negotiate on the issue. It's time for Congress to go after Wall Street and put regulations in place. We cannot trust them to do right this time. They didn't do it before, and no one should think their greed has been tempered by our financial collapse.

This is the nonsense that voters have tired of. If politicians on both sides are there to represent their views, then they have to do it. For the GOP, stop canceling hearings. Stop threatening not to engage in legislative negotiations. And if Republicans make it clear they will say no to everything, the Democrats must learn to lead and go it alone.

The November election is meaningless to me. What matters is trying to fix what is broken with this country. And we can't repair our schools, our borders and Wall Street unless our political leaders in Washington act like grown men and women and not petulant children acting out in a fit of rage.

Grow up and get to work!

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland Martin.