REPORT: Highway to the Obstruction Zone: Republican Obstructionism has led to Crumbling Infrastructure and a National Crisis

Bridge Project today released a report on how Republican obstructionism and the Koch agenda is causing our infrastructure to crumble and creating a self-inflicted national crisis.

Republicans punted on the highway bill last summer by funding a short-term solution that is set to expire at the end of May. It’s starting to look like the GOP leadership will once again bow to pressure from the Tea Party and the Koch brothers by trying to pass another short-term fix.

Passing the highway bill used to be a bipartisan effort, until the Koch brothers’ Tea Party mentality seeped into the mainstream Republican Party — rejecting the idea of federally funded infrastructure entirely.

As the Highway Trust Fund is once again nearing insolvency, summer construction projects are under threat and jobs are on the line. According to Bond Buyer, “States have cancelled or deferred $800 million of highway projects and have put another $1.8 […]

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REPORT Gavels for Sale: GOP Committee Chairs Call To Order An Extremist Congress

 “Gavels for Sale: GOP Committee Chairs Chairs Call to Order and Extremist Congress.”

Bridge Project today released a new report on the House and Senate committee chairs who are leveraging their leadership positions to peddle extreme policies, promote the Koch brothers’ agenda, and conduct partisan investigations.

This latest batch of committee chairs is increasingly hostile towards the agencies that they oversee while raking in millions in campaign donations from the industries that they are responsible for regulating. These chairs have continued the model perfected by Congressman Darrell Issa, who honed the GOP’s strategy of using chairmanships for partisan witch-hunts rather than legitimate oversight.

Despite trumpeting the diversity of their freshman class, the GOP leadership team looks like an episode of Mad Men. You have to dive into the subcommittee level to find any legislators of color and only two of the 40 committees are chaired by women.

This Congress is on track to become the most […]

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A Timeline Of Years-Long Efforts By Jeb Bush and Florida Republicans to Gut Protections Against GP’s Pollution Into the St. John’s River

Background: Economic and Environmental Harm From GP’s Pollution In the St. John’s River
Small Businesses Impacts

Brooks Busey, Owner Of Sadler Point Marina, Warned That Many Individuals’ Livelihoods Depended On A Healthy St. Johns River. According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, “The issue isn’t just an environmental one considering the 4,000 direct and indirect jobs the Palatka plant supports, and the Riverkeeper had made the economic case for cleaning the river through its new campaign, which launched last month. The Cleaner GP campaign, which calls on Gov. Rick Scott to nix the pipeline, features Sadler Point Marina owner Brooks Busey saying his business is hurt when the river suffers. ‘My livelihood depends on a healthy St. Johns River,’ Busey is quoted as saying on the campaign website. Riverkeeper Executive Director Jimmy Orth said an unhealthy river affects marinas and the fishing industry, making the fight more than just environmentalists […]

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Georgia-Pacific Corporation

After Jeb Bush came into office, he didn’t waste time in helping to negotiate an agreement with Georgia-Pacific over the company’s pollution into the St. Johns River from their plant in Palatka, Florida. In 1999, days after Jeb Bush took office, GP and other paper mills began pushing for permission to build pipelines that would carry their pollution farther downstream. In 2001, Bush’s Department of Environmental Protection came to an agreement with GP, granting a permit that would allow GP to build a pipeline only if they could not meet water quality standards. Bush actually touted the agreement to constituents in emails in 2002, writing that he was “proud of our agreement with Georgia Pacific,” to one constituent, and telling another that “it is a win, win. the extremists are wrong again.’” In 2003, Bush told a Georgia-Pacific Vice-President that he was “a huge fan of what you are […]

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NEW REPORT — By Fair Means Or Fowl: How The GOP’s Fight Against Lame Duck Confirmation Votes Bucks Tradition

Despite public calls for bipartisanship after their electoral gains, Congressional Republicans continue to use every means possible to block the Obama administration from governing. Beyond their legislative roadblocks, Republicans are obstructing routine approval of qualified and noncontroversial nominees and judges. A scan of recent history shows that confirming presidential nominees in a lame duck session has been as much a fall tradition as the pardoning of a turkey, until now.

President Obama has put forward quality candidates for consideration. There are dozens of critical vacancies in the executive branch, including the surgeon general, an assistant secretary for homeland defense, and a bevy of ambassadorships critical to our national security. Many of these nominees are long-overdue for a vote and their absence is impeding the government’s ability to function.

There are also currently dozens of judicial vacancies on the US Court of Appeals and US District Courts. The price we pay for these vacancies is steep. According to a recent Brennan Center for Justice study, judicial vacancies “slowed the court’s ability to resolve motions and try cases, which drove up litigation costs, caused evidence to go stale, made it harder to settle civil cases, and in some instances, pressured clients to plead guilty.”

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Michele Bachmann & Steve King

Renowned xenophobes Reps. Steve King and Michele Bachmann have announced a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border today as part of their offensive offensive against President Obama’s action on immigration. Ever the moderate, Bachmann warned of “millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language.” While King, who’s proposed a legal change to prevent the issuing of new visas, defended his obstructionist stance with a mature “we can do anything we want to.” After Speaker John Boehner’s five minute press conference on the matter this morning, Bachmann and King are effectively left as the de facto spokespeople for the Republican Party, driving their narrative and policy direction on the matter.

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