American Bridge Releases Report On House Republicans’ Dishonest Attacks Over Executive Actions

Throughout the Obama presidency, House Republicans have consistently blockaded progress on crucial issues, only to blame inaction on the president. Then, when the president takes executive action, they accuse him of unprecedented lawlessness, culminating with their latest combo-stunt: a ludicrous lawsuit and talk of impeachment.

There’s only one problem: President Obama’s actions, necessitated by a recalcitrant House, are both precedented and lawful. Indeed Obama has issued executive orders at a slower rate than any president since Grover Cleveland. Ronald Reagan used executive action to ease immigration standards for Nicaraguan exiles, George H. W. Bush to delay the deportation of Kuwaitis during the Iraqi occupation, George W. Bush to protect Salvadorans after an earthquake, and the list goes on. The only thing that is unprecedented is the inefficiency of this Congress, which is on track to be the least productive in history.

In a new report today, Bridge Project exposes the absurdity of the attacks on President Obama’s executive actions. As Republicans continue to use inflammatory rhetoric to portray the president as an out-of-control tyrant, reality paints an entirely different picture.

Read more after the jump.

GOP Union: Rep. McMorris Rodgers In Lockstep With Tea Party’s Sen. Lee

Hoping to break the trend of awkward or forgettable State of the Union responses, Republicans have selected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to counter President Obama’s annual address tonight.

As a top lieutenant to Speaker John Boehner who generally steers clear of controversy, McMorris Rodgers could seem like a logical choice to try and represent the more welcoming GOP that party leaders called for after the 2012 election. However, a brief review of her record indicates that McMorris Rodgers is no less extreme than many of her Tea Party colleagues. In fact, on several key issues, McMorris Rodgers is closely aligned with Tea Party responder Sen. Mike Lee.

Both McMorris Rodgers and Lee oppose increases in the minimum wage, support deep cuts to food stamps, and have voted against unemployment benefits. McMorris Rodgers has opposed equal pay for women and supported several attempts to restrict women’s health care choices – including notorious legislation that would have redefined rape as “forcible rape” – while Lee believes the Violence Against Women Act is unconstitutional.

Read more after the jump.

Rubio Left Thirsting For New Ideas On Poverty

Following a disastrous 2012 election cycle in which Mitt Romney infamously described 47 percent of voters as “dependent upon the government,” Republican leaders set out to make their party more appealing – or at least less insulting – to middle-class and working Americans.

Just weeks after the election, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave a speech on “middle-class opportunity” that was hailed as a sign of shifting conservative priorities and a more compassionate Republican Party. However, Rubio’s message did not translate into action, as he and his party spent the next year opposing middle-class tax cuts, pushing massive cuts to the safety net, and even shutting down the government in a futile attempt to undermine access to affordable health insurance.

Meanwhile, Rubio endorsed comprehensive immigration reform but failed to sell conservatives on a bipartisan bill and, after damaging his standing on the right, eventually dialed back his support. That failed leadership led one major Florida newspaper to dub Rubio the “political loser” of 2013, so it’s no surprise to see the senator delivering yet another highly publicized speech to give his image a boost.

It is almost unfathomable that Rubio is giving a speech on poverty just a day after voting against unemployment benefits. But his refusal to help the unemployed is actually emblematic of conservatives’ empty rhetoric on poverty. Until Rubio and the Republicans come up with any actual ideas beyond their endless calls for more tax cuts and repealing Obamacare, the real war on poverty in America remains their endless attacks on the middle and working class.

Read more after the jump.

Barriers To Reform: The Anti-Immigrant Policies And Extremist Money Blocking Progress In The House

As supporters of comprehensive immigration reform, Bridge Project commends the Senate for overcoming the political dysfunction that has become typical of Congress to overwhelmingly pass a bipartisan bill. Despite the right-wing naysayers who have been actively working against compromise, the Senate-approved mix of border security measures and a path to citizenship represents an encouraging step forward for immigration policy. Now it is up to the leadership in the House to reject the voices of extremism in their caucus and follow the Senate’s bipartisan path.

In the lower chamber, conservative leaders on the issue have long embraced extreme positions and attempted to score political points at the expense of immigrants. Some representatives are openly hostile to immigration reform and have demonstrated more interest in stoking divisions than moving the country forward.

And a history of support for harsh immigration policies is not the only cause for concern. Several key conservatives have also accepted campaign contributions from anti-immigrant donors, including some with connections to Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups.

Read more after the jump.

Michele Bachmann’s Legacy Lives On

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has announced that she will not seek another term in the House of Representatives. However, the former presidential candidate’s legacy of extreme statements, paranoid conspiracy theories, and ideological witch hunts will live on through the right-wing members of Congress who will continue to champion her views.

Anti-American Conspiracies

Bachmann Called For A Media Investigation Into Whether Members Of Congress Are “Pro-America Or Anti-America.” During an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, Michele Bachmann said, “What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.” [MSNBC, Hardball, 10/17/08]

  • Steve King Called Joe McCarthy “A Hero” And Said He Would Support Something “Along the Lines Of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” In an interview with Right Side News, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was asked, whether he would support “resurrection of the Congressional internal security committees along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee.” King replied, “I would. Something similar. If we called it the House Un-American Activities Committee, that would be lighting up the history of McCarthy in a way that wouldn’t be necessary, although I am often quoted as saying McCarthy was a hero for America. He was. He was right far more times than he was wrong. It is a historical fact. But I would submit a different committee name so that we don’t have to deal with the history, and move forward. I think that is a good process and I would support it.” [Right Side News, 10/5/10]
Read more after the jump.

Ending Spending Action Fund: “Wrong”

The Ending Spending Action Fund twists congressional candidate Richard Carmona (D-AZ)’s resume against him, accusing him of mismanaging a hospital that was deep in debt before his tenure and of having others pick up his dry cleaning on taxpayer-funded time. But that unsubstantiated allegation is sourced solely to a woman with a history credibility issues who was featured in an ad supporting Carmona’s opponent. The ad also suggests Carmona supports all earmarks, when in reality, Carmona was remarking that not all earmarks are wasteful – some can be useful investments in infrastructure.

Read more after the jump.

American Commitment: “Work Hard”

An ad from American Commitment blames Arizona Senate candidate Richard Carmona for the debts an Arizona health care system and community hospital incurred under Carmona’s leadership. But the ad neglects to mention that the health care system was already $36 million in debt when Carmona was appointed, due largely to a health care market plagued by high numbers of uninsured and underinsured people seeking uncompensated services at the hospital’s emergency room.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “Lovers”

Crossroads GPS says Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine “loves taxes,” accusing him of trying to raise taxes on lower-income Americans and attacking him for supporting the Affordable Care Act even though the health care law provides more middle-class tax relief than burden. But the “tax hikes” GPS accuses Kaine of pushing as governor were a 1 percent surcharge that was part of a package of tough cuts seeking to balance Virginia’s recession-ravaged budget. Meanwhile, Kaine isn’t “considering a new tax on those who can least afford it” – he misspoke while indicating his openness to all discussions on taxation, but does not support taxing lower-income citizens.

Read more after the jump.

NumbersUSA: “October 2012 TV Ad”

An ad from anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA suggests that lawmakers’ motivation for granting green cards to immigrants is a belief that “black Americans don’t want to work,” basing this on the false premise that immigrants displace jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans. But there is little truth to this; immigrants expand the economy by increasing demand, thereby creating new jobs and driving up wages for native workers.

Read more after the jump.

Bauer: “Creator” In Declaration Of Independence “Is Not The God Of The Quran”

From Gary Bauer’s remarks at the 2012 Values Voters Summit on September 14, 2012:

BAUER: The founders put the central idea of our civilization right in the middle of the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, where it says, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator–’ Memo to the American Civil Liberties Union and these folks demonstrating outside the hotel, that’s God. ‘–endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ That’s the central idea of who we are. You know for a lot of people on the left, those words are like fingernails on a chalkboard, because, you see, the left is increasingly radically secular. They don’t even believe there’s a God, so how can they accept the words of our Founding Fathers, that that God is the author of our liberty. Ladies and gentlemen, the Creator – the God, the Creator in that paragraph, is not just any god. I say this not meaning to offend anyone, but that is not the God of the Quran. And the reason I feel comfortable saying that is that there’s countries all over the world that have been established on the perception that they are following the teachings of the Quran. And they are not pleasant places to live. They’re not pleasant places to live for women. They’re not pleasant places to live for religious minorities. They’re not pleasant places to live if you want to follow freedom of conscience.