Just days before the Nov. 2010 elections, the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell, spoke with striking candor about the GOP's top priority going forward. It wasn't jobs, despite the fact that the economy was still in the grip of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression. No, it was winning the next election.
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," McConnell said.
Republicans in Congress have spent the last 20 months trying to live up to that goal, obstructing any action on jobs legislation in Congress for the sake of a political victory in November. Their focus has been so short-sighted that even some congressional Republicans have complained about their inaction. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently declared the remainder of 2012 substantively over and said Republicans would focus on sending "signals" to the American public.
Americans need much more than "signals." This week we unveiled the No Excuses Facebook page to highlight congressional Republicans complete inaction on jobs legislation. Even on measures that have traditionally elicited bipartisan appeal -- such as the Invest In America Jobs Act that Ways and Means Democrats introduced last week that would extend the 100 percent bonus depreciation tax deduction for U.S. companies through 2012 -- have been ignored by Republican leadership. Politics, as Sen. McConnell made clear 20 months ago, comes first. Not jobs.
Nearly 13 million Americans remain unemployed at no fault of their own. Yet the Republican mantra continues to be, "you're on your own."
And so the Republicans march toward the November elections -- on their own -- failing to act on jobs.
They have no excuses.
Visit the NO EXCUSES Facebook page.
Follow Rep. Sandy Levin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/repsandylevin