State of the GOP: Misguided and obsessed

Story highlights

  • Rep. Steve Israel rattles off a list of GOP failures, neglected issues and missed opportunities
  • Israel: Party showed they weren't on the side of the American people
  • Israel: Their wrong priorities will come back to haunt them in November

Three years ago, obsession took hold of Republicans in Congress.

In the third week of January 2011, John Boehner's newly-elected House held its first-ever vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and go back to letting insurance companies do whatever they want. Fast forward to today -- nearly 50 votes to repeal or undermine the law later -- and it's clear to the American people that Republicans in Congress aren't on their side.

Pick an issue: Jobs. The economy. Education. Infrastructure. Minimum wage. Unemployment insurance. Immigration reform.

The list of failures, neglected issues and missed opportunities goes on and on -- and shows without question that Republicans are on the side of special interests and the Tea Party, not the American people. No wonder poll after poll still shows House Republicans standing at record lows.

Rep. Steve Israel

Americans don't need a pen and a phone, we need a job and a paycheck

Boehner's misguided agenda and one-note tenure have ignored what the American people want. In fact, independent, mainstream polls show that most Americans want to improve and fix the law, not repeal it. Americans know what repeal would cost them: giving the power back to insurance companies to discriminate, deny care, drop coverage, raise rates and drive hardworking Americans into bankruptcy.

On the Affordable Care Act and so many other issues that matter to the middle class, the message House Republicans have sent is clear: They are not on the side of hardworking American middle class families, and instead will do everything in their power to protect those who need help the least: the Washington special interests.

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While House Republicans have obsessively voted to turn our health care system back over to insurance companies, that is far from the only damage they have inflicted on the people of this country. Their disastrous government shutdown -- which they launched to oppose the Affordable Care Act -- cost our economy $24 billion. They won't extend unemployment insurance for struggling Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are looking for work -- all while they make sure that Big Oil gets its $40 billion in subsidies. They refuse to raise the minimum wage, while seeking maximum tax cuts for the rich. They have yet to pass anything that remotely resembles a jobs bill.

Those wrong priorities will come back to haunt them in November.

A few Republicans are making the first motions to run away from this unpopular approach and to deny their repeal-only agenda. They're hoping that voters will think that they've woken up and found some common sense -- but voters won't forget nearly 50 votes, and they won't forgive them for turning their backs on hardworking people.

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Republicans' flawed priorities are hurting real families in this country. With every repeal vote, John Boehner might get a kick out of conservative news headlines and the talk radio echo chamber, but what regular Americans see is a politician who cares more about wealthy insurance company contributors than helping their families.

Voters will have a choice this fall between Republicans' wrong priorities, and problem-solving Democrats who have dedicated their lives to helping middle class families get ahead. I believe that choice will be clear.

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