06/13/2012 09:46 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2012

The GOP Is Wasting Our Time

Working families face countless challenges and many Americans are looking for a job, any job. Yet some politicians think the best way to keep their job is by not doing it. Take Sen. Inhofe who is just wasting Congress' time -- and therefore the taxpayer's money -- instead of getting something useful done.

And it's not for a lack of useful things to do.

Our country's infrastructure is crumbling around us while a bipartisan bill that would create 2.9 million jobs and boost work on highways and mass transit is stalled because of the intransigence of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

And 44,000 people will have an asthma attack today and 36,000 kids will miss school due to asthma.

Congress should be focused on any one of these problems today.

Instead, I just watched Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on the Senate floor calling for the repeal of clean air safeguards that protect our kids. He is working with at least 29 unnamed senators, who are trying to hide behind arcane rules to protect their shameful identities to eliminate EPA's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for power plants.

What is particularly baffling is that even Sen. Inhofe's staff admits this is a waste of time. According to Politico:

"The CRA -- like similar previous GOP challenges to EPA's rules -- wasn't ever expected to gain enough votes to pass. But that's almost beside the point. "We see this as a bookend," said Matt Dempsey, spokesman for Inhofe on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

This statement is further evidence that the many in the GOP is more concerned with posturing than with solving the real problems of the American people. As my colleague, Bob Deans, says in his new book Reckless: The Political Assault on the American Environment, last year, the Republican-led House voted nearly 200 times to weaken, block, or delay needed measures that defend our air, water, wildlife, and lands. Most of these bills did not become law thanks to President Obama and environmental champions in the Senate -- a fact assumed before the original votes were held in the House of Representatives. Just a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

Sen. Inhofe and these other secret senators should be acting in the interest of their constituents and the national treasury, but they are not. Instead they are doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry, who has responded by filling campaign coffers.

The fossil fuel industry has already given Sen. Inhofe almost $1.2 million this election cycle. In fact, the fossil fuel industry has given more than $62 million in campaign contributions this campaign cycle.

NRDC Action Fund is calling on Inhofe to come clean. We want to know which senators would rather protect polluters, instead of their constituents. Join us in asking Senator Inhofe to release the "Dirty Thirty" by visiting and by tweeting: @inhofepress: come clean on #thedirty30 senators who oppose life-saving clean air protections: Or better yet, let's ask them to get back to real work and stop the meaningless drama.

Congress needs to get to work on the countless real problems facing our families and our world and stop wasting our money. That's what they are paid to do.