This week, President Barack Obama used his executive authority to prevent the deportation on millions of undocumented immigrants. It should come as no surprise that Republicans do not support this action and have added it to a growing list of complaints about how the president and congressional Democrats do business. Unfortunately for Republicans, these complaints represent the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
Perhaps executive actions do undermine the "democratic process" as Speaker Boehner suggests, however it should be noted that Obama averages just 32 executive actions per year, while Republican presidents have been far more liberal in their use of this power.
George W. Bush -- 36 per year
George H.W. Bush -- 41 per year
Ronald Reagan -- 47 per year
Gerald Ford -- 56 per year
Richard Nixon -- 57 per year
If this is a problem, it is a problem for all presidents, not just the Democratic ones.Boehner feels that "President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected ... to serve." According to a release by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, a Fox News poll shows:
By a 78-21 percent margin, voters favor allowing immigrants in the U.S. illegally to become citizens after they meet requirements such as passing a background check.
Given that the Senate already passed a comprehensive immigration reform act with bipartisan support that included a pathway to citizenship, which the vast majority of Americans favor, by refusing to bring this bill up for a vote in the House it is Boehner who has turned a deaf ear to the people.
For much of the past year, House Republicans, lead by Eric Cantor, have been portraying the Democratic controlled Senate as a place where good bills go to die. With over 300 bills passed by the House waiting for approval in the Senate, such a claim seems accurate. However, history shows that every year around 300 House bills fail to get a vote in the Senate. 2014 is just another year in long line of political dysfunction.
Having said that, the two worst years on record were 2011 and 2012, when Republican filibusters caused a total of nearly 1,300 House bills to stall in the Senate.
If failing to get a vote on House bills is an issue when Republicans control the House, it should also have been a concern for Republicans when Democrats controlled the House.
Of the 46 "jobs bills" the House has passed that Boehner considers "bipartisan" half of them received support from less than 10% of House Democrats with 2 bills receiving zero votes and 12 others garnering under 5% support.
By contrast the Senate currently has 76 bills waiting for the House to vote on. All have the support of at least 10% of Senate Republicans. If a wave of bipartisanship is sweeping Congress, shouldn't that also include Senate bills stuck in the House?
Included in the list of bills being ignored by the House and Speaker Boehner are the following:
-- S. 2912: Don't Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act
-- S. 2673: United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014
-- S. 1691: Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014
-- S. 2198: Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014
-- S. 1417: Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013
-- S. 287: Helping Homeless Veterans Act of 2013
-- S. 743: Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013
-- S. 853: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013
While Republican leadership wants to depict Democrats and the president as uncompromising ideologues, such assertions from a group that have shown to be uncompromising ideologues falls on deaf ears. Americans don't want more political posturing, finger pointing and empty rhetoric. They want a government that spends more time in Washington than raising money. They want a government that acts on the wishes of voters instead of the wishes of the highest bidder. They want a government that finds common ground and rallies public support rather than constantly dividing the nation to win elections.
Unfortunately, rather than leading the government in a different direction Republicans seem determined to take it further down the rabbit hole. That should be disappointing no matter what your political affiliations are.