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.

Senate Finance Committee Republicans To Continue Cruz’s Crusade

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the October launch of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. While the committee’s Republicans are expected to keep up their extreme, Ted Cruz-led attacks calling for the wholesale repeal of Obamacare, it’s worth remembering that a number of them sang a different tune during the problematic implementation of Medicare Part D in 2006.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), for example, now the Finance Committee’s ranking member, said of Medicare Part D in 2006 that “any program of that size and magnitude will have problems initially!” Hatch also commended a CMS administrator for doing a good job with “this very, very difficult to implement bill that we saddled you with.” And fellow Finance Committee member Mike Crapo (R-ID) argued in 2006 that glitches shouldn’t outweigh the benefits of positive public policy, saying of Medicare Part D that “we should not let these problems overshadow the fact that every day there are folks who are paying far less for their medications than they were before.”

But the similarities between the rollout problems facing the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Part D are unlikely to buy Obamacare any leeway from a Republican Party that has been bent on destroying health care reform from the outset. Like their counterparts in the House, who have voted nearly 50 times to repeal or defund the health care reform law, Senate Republicans have introduced dozens of bills designed to chip away at the law and repeatedly tried to use political tactics to undermine its viability. Yet the GOP’s blind devotion to sabotaging the health care law at any opportunity ignores the millions of Americans who would suffer if the legislation were repealed, including those with pre-existing conditions and seniors who fall into the prescription drug “donut hole.”

Wednesday’s hearing follows several similarly themed events held in recent weeks by other Senate and House committees, at which Republicans berated witnesses from CMS and HHS and used the opportunity to attack Obamacare as a whole. With the Finance Committee’s Ted Cruz-led Senate Republicans likely to pile on, it’s clear that the GOP’s real interest is partisan grandstanding, not fixing the glitches in the law.

Read more after the jump.

GOP Refuses To Shut Down Unpopular War On Health Care Reform

The Republican Party is historically unpopular after shutting down the government in a futile attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act. In fact, with a favorability rating of just 24 percent, Republicans are far less popular than the health care law, which a majority of Americans support or would like to make stronger. Yet the backlash against them has not convinced Republicans to give up their desperate crusade to take away people’s health care.

On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on the glitches in the Affordable Care Act’s recently launched insurance marketplaces. A memo from the committee’s Republican majority contends that the rollout “has been fraught with significant problems that are leading to major delays for Americans attempting to shop for health coverage.” However, a look back at President Bush’s Medicare Part D expansion shows Republicans –including some of the very same committee members holding today’s hearing – defending the need to give new health care programs enough time to succeed. For example, as then-Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) said, “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches.”

While the past conduct of these Republican committee members makes it abundantly clear that today’s hearing has nothing to do with improving people’s access to health care, the overall record of Republicans in Congress provides even more evidence that they are not genuinely concerned with the difficulties of obtaining health insurance. House Republicans have voted nearly 50 times to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act without offering any realistic replacement. Furthermore, Republicans have repeatedly approved radical budget proposals that would privatize Medicare and gut health care programs for children and the poor.

Read more after the jump.

BushRewrite.org Site Corrects Pro-Bush Spin In Presidential Library

Earlier this year, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened on the campus of Southern Methodist University. But if visitors to the stunning $250 million complex traveled a few hundred miles southeast, they would find a much different legacy for the nation’s 43rd President. With the eighth anniversary of the Bush administration’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina near, it serves as a stark reminder that the real history of President George W. Bush is much different than the sterilized version found in the halls of the Bush library.

As was expected, supporters of the former president chose to depict his administration’s choices and actions in a favorable light. But the American people deserve a more accurate view of history than the one Bush’s supporters have attempted to rewrite. That is why the Bridge Project has launched a new website, www.BushRewrite.org, to rectify the falsehoods and omissions of the Bush library.

“Historians have reevaluated certain presidents over time, but never before has there been such a blatant and aggressive attempt to distort the memory of a tenure that we all lived through,” said Bridge Project Vice President Eddie Vale. “With Republicans eager to revive the policies of the Bush administration, it’s important to have an objective view of the consequences and outcomes of those policies.”

The Bush administration was bookended by tragedies in the September 11th terrorist attacks and the financial crisis. The Bush library portrays a misleading interpretation of the intervening events, from the War on Terror to the weak economy, including the inept response to Hurricane Katrina, the attempted privatization of Social Security, debt-inducing tax cuts, and Supreme Court appointees who have skewed the ideological composition of the court. Additionally, the website addresses key figures like Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who are not given attention commensurate with the influence they exerted on the Bush White House, and infamous failures like the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, the politically charged U.S. Attorney firings, and the revelation of Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA agent that are conspicuously absent.

Read more after the jump.

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.

Read more after the jump.

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.

Read more after the jump.

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.

Read more after the jump.

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.

Read more after the jump.

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.

Read more after the jump.

American Crossroads: “Four Years”

American Crossroads accuses Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) of “voting for Barack Obama’s agenda,” pointing to the health care reform law and a 2009 budget vote. Contrary to the ad’s claims, however, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t “cut” Medicare, and while the budget Donnelly supported letting Bush tax cuts expire for top earners, few of those in the top brackets are actual small businesses.

Read more after the jump.