NEW REPORT: The Elephant In The Room

The Pope Addresses A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values

This Thursday, all eyes will be on Pope Francis for his historic and much anticipated address to a joint meeting of Congress. But before the pope arrived in the United States, Republicans already started picking fights and attacking the pope’s teachings.

In advance of the pope’s address, Bridge Project is releasing a new report titled, “The Elephant In The Room: The Pope Address A GOP-Controlled Congress Opposed To His Progressive Values.

Since the start of his papacy, Pope Francis has signaled a shift in focus for the church towards protecting “the least of these,” whether it’s through the stewardship of our environment or addressing income inequality and providing a livable wage. Republicans’ policy views continue to move further and further to the right, and the pope is finally calling them on it.

On countless issues, the GOP’s policy positions go against the pope’s teaching. Bridge Project’s latest report examines how on the following issues, the GOP’s […]

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Boehner and his merry band of well poisoners

Yesterday, President Obama announced his plan to take action to address immigration reform. Today, House Speaker John Boehner will use his 9 a.m. address to try to explain away the Republican Party’s obstructionist plan to fight the President’s effort.

Yesterday, American Bridge sent you a list of the many other times Republicans have claimed the President “poisoned the well” on an issue. Today, we’re showing you those Republican claims – in their own words.

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60 Plus Association: “Clear”

The 60 Plus criticizes Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) for supporting President Obama, blaming the president’s policies for the number of Americans who are still looking for work or receiving food stamps. The truth is that Obama inherited an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month and forcing millions of Americans to rely on government assistance, as Americans suffered through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Today the economy is growing, the private sector has added almost 5 million new jobs in the last 32 straight months, and consumer confidence has climbed to its highest level since February 2008. The ad also blames the Obama for the rising debt, but the real culprits are Bush-era policies and the recession itself, and Republicans have repeatedly blocked Obama’s deficit-reduction proposals.

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Ending Spending: “Spending Our Future Away”

Ending Spending claims that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is “spending our future away,” connecting his support for the health care law and the Recovery Act to the rising debt. However, the Affordable Care Act actually reduces the deficit, while the stimulus bill created jobs and helped rescue the economy from a deeper recession. In reality, Bush administration policies and the recession itself caused deficits to explode in recent years.

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Crossroads GPS: “No Clue”

An ad from Crossroads GPS nonsensically attacks New Mexico Senate candidate Rep. Martin Heinrich both for too much spending and for a vote that may result in spending cuts. In reality, it was the recession and policies like the Bush tax cuts – both rounds of which Heinrich’s opponent voted for – that drove up debt. The automatic spending cuts are looming thanks to Republicans’ refusal to compromise on deficit reduction; when Heinrich voted for the last-minute deal that imposed those cuts as an incentive for a super committee to find compromise on deficit reduction, his primary concern was raising the debt limit and avoiding the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from default.

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American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

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American Crossroads: “Debate”

American Crossroads wants to know what it is about President Obama’s first term indicates that “another four years would be better” if he wins the election. The answer is simple: Obama inherited an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, as Americans suffered through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Today the economy is growing – as evidenced by 4.97 million new private-sector jobs created in the last 32 months – and consumer confidence has climbed to its highest level since February 2008. The ad also blames the Obama’s spending for the rising debt, but the real culprits are Bush-era policies and the recession itself, and Republicans have repeatedly blocked Obama’s deficit-reduction proposals.

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American Crossroads: “Silent”

American Crossroads blames Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) for debt that was caused by the recession and policies like the Bush tax cuts, both rounds of which his opponent supported. The ad cites a series of votes to prove its point, but the votes were primarily on bills to prop up a floundering housing market and economy or to raise the debt ceiling, a maneuver that doesn’t authorize new spending but does prevent the economic catastrophe that would result from defaulting on our obligations.

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Restore Our Future: “Flatline”

A Restore Our Future ad titled “Flatline” suggests that the economy is “dead” and will stay that way as long as President Obama is in office. That’s absurd: Under Obama, the enormous monthly job losses President Bush left behind have turned into steady private-sector growth, including 4.97 million new jobs in the last 32 months.

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American Crossroads: “No Slate”

Calling her an “extreme politician,” American Crossroads suggests Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) voted to raise taxes on the middle-class, citing her support for health care reform. But the Affordable Care Act does not raise taxes on most Americans and actually reduces the overall burden on the middle class. The law also reduces future Medicare spending without cutting seniors’ current benefits. Meanwhile, the rising debt in recent years has been fueled by the recession and Bush policies, such as tax breaks for the wealthy that Baldwin opposed.

Read more after the jump.