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SJI caucus memo Nov 13_FINAL.pdf

SJI caucus memo Nov 13_FINAL.pdf

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Published by The Hill Newspaper
SJI
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Published by: The Hill Newspaper on Nov 13, 2013
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11/15/2013

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 TO:
 Members of the House Democratic Caucus
FR:
 DCCC Chairman Steve Israel
RE:
 Republicans’ Failures in 113
th
 Congress – and Another Coming Showdown
 
Each one of us – and more importantly, our constituents – is painfully familiar with the failures of this Republican Congress so far. But the worst may be yet to come.
 
So far, Speaker Boehner and the Republican Congress have failed to strengthen middle class American families and they refused to work together on bipartisan measures that will help create  jobs and grow our economy. They’ve repeatedly chosen reckless dysfunction and obstruction to President Obama instead of commonsense solutions.
 
But right after the first of the year, they have the potential to make it even worse. This
 
Republican Congress continues to hurtle the country toward yet another fiscal showdown,
 
refusing to rule out another damaging government shutdown over defunding the Affordable Care
 
Act and failing to produce a budget.
 
The 2013 Record of Failure
 
There is a long list of failures from this Republican Congress. For a sense of the missed opportunities, look no further than the list of bipartisan measures passed by the Senate – or on the verge of passage – that will increase jobs, help our economy and protect American workers,  but that have been left on the wreckage heap of this Republican House majority:
 
 
Bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform, which not only would fix our broken immigration system but is also projected to add 14,000 per Congressional district, according to a study by the conservative American Action Network ;
 
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect American workers from  being fired because of who they love;
 
 
A budget that takes a balanced approach, replacing the devastating sequester cuts with smart savings and asking millionaires and big corporations to pay their fair share;
 
 
A farm bill that includes SNAP funding to keep our most vulnerable children from going hungry;
 
 
The first increase in the minimum wage in six years, which would put more money in the  pockets of middle class families and which is projected to pass the Senate before the end of the year.
 
 
As their list of failures piles up, Republicans freely admit they don’t plan to accomplish anything this year. Politico reported this week :
 
 
“In short, if there are hopes of sending President Barack Obama the comprehensive immigration bill so many have lobbied for, or the Employee Non-Discrimination Act  before 2014, they’re likely to be dashed.
 
“Both privately and publicly, top D.C. leaders are voicing skepticism about anything happening this year. In a recent meeting with his Republican leadership colleagues, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) joked that the House shouldn’t even remain in session in December. As the schedule stands now, the House anticipates being in session eight days next month, after working seven days in November.
 
“Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 House Republican, told activists last week that there isn’t enough time to complete immigration reform this year.”
 
Democrats Recruit Problem-Solvers As Antidotes To This Reckless Republican Congress
 
Fortunately, the American people won’t have to settle for Republicans who stand in the way of reasonable solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems.
 
After hearing from their communities about the devastating impact of the shutdown, problem-solving Democratic challengers have stepped up in districts across the map. Since the Republican government shutdown, nine new Democrats have announced in competitive districts. Top new recruits who were motivated to run because of the Republican government shutdown and who will serve as an antidote to this reckless Republican Congress include:
 
 
Aimee Belgard, NJ-03
 After reports surfaced that the Burlington County Freeholder was
 
considering running in this seat that President Obama won twice, Congressman Jon Runyan announced his retirement, with aides citing frustration with the Tea Party Republican House. Belgard said in her announcement that “We have more political gamesmanship and irresponsible discord than I can ever remember in Washington. We need a change from the ego-driven politics that shutdown the government and brought our nation to the brink of default.”
 
Joe Bock, IN-02
 The official at Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health will give
 
voice to constituents frustrated with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, who won by the skin of her teeth in 2012 and who recklessly voted to keep the government shutdown and to default on our debt. Bock said: “The government shutdown was a great example of the inverse of what we need to be doing to exude confidence and show the kind of stability that’s required for people to be investing and offering people jobs and giving people raises.”
 
Pete Festersen, NE-02
 The Omaha City Councilman had declined a run last summer, but reconsidered after Congressman Lee Terry voted to shut down the government and deny  paychecks to hundreds of thousands of workers, while keeping his own because he’s “got
 
a nice house.” Festersen said of his decision, “Like most people, my frustration has grown by the day over the last month, with the government shutdown and the  brinkmanship on the debt ceiling. Change is needed. And I felt it was my responsibility to  be that change.”
 
 
Glen Gainer, WV-01
 The West Virginia state auditor said in announcing his run that “After they went so far as to shut the government down, it really struck a nerve with me,” Gainer said. “I felt it’s time for people to be represented by someone who will work every day for their interests and never shut the government down.”
 
 
Patrick Henry Hays, AR-02
 The former mayor of North Little Rock is
 
running in the seat left open by the unexpected retirement of Congressman Tim Griffin. In announcing his decision, Hays said he was moved to run  by frustration over the Republican government shutdown, saying that 
 
“Sixteen days in October was a travesty.”
 
 
Bill Hughes Jr., NJ-02
 The local prosecutor and son of former Representative Bill
 
Hughes, who represented New Jersey’s second district for 20 years, will be a strong contrast to Congressman Frank LoBiondo in this district that President Obama carried twice. When he announced his campaign, Hughes said: “New Jersey residents are tired of the irresponsible brinksmanship in Washington that brought on the reckless government shutdown and continues to threaten jobs. Our community can’t afford to be represented  by someone who continues to oppose any reasonable solutions and keeps repeating the same failed policies that are hurting our economy.”
 
 
Alex Sink, FL-13
 Former gubernatorial nominee and chief financial
 
officer for the state of Florida Alex Sink said she is running in the special election for this highly competitive seat that President Obama won  because she has “gotten very upset about the government. Why can’t these  people understand they’re hurting everyday Americans? I can’t be complaining unless I’m willing to be part of the solution.”
 
 
James Lee Witt, AR-04
 President Clinton’s former director of FEMA is
 
running in this open seat  because, "I've spent my adult life bringing people together during the toughest times of their lives in disasters. Nowhere needs disaster relief more than Washington. No place needs to be brought together more than Congress. I don't claim to know everything, but I do know that name calling and partisan bickering aren't going to solve any  problems."
How It Goes From Bad to Worse
 
Republican leadership and rank and file members refuse to pass a budget that would guarantee no more government shutdowns by giving up on their demand to defund the Affordable Care Act. They would rather continue doing the insurance companies’ bidding and let insurance raise rates and deny benefits.

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