Snap Fact #168

Imagine The Next Four Years With President Obama Having A Democratic Congress At His Back!
During the next several days we will be running a series that will remind us all of the last Congress that earned the respect of the American people. This was done by reason of its actual accomplishments. It is almost unimaginable how fast and how far Congress has fallen in the last session both in results and the regard of the American people. An aware and objective observer can easily see the root cause of the change is the self-announced Republican position that the primary mission of the Republican Party in Congress was to make sure that the President would not serve a second term. Time after time they announced that they would do everything possible to undermine the President - and they did an effective job of it.

Although the opposition's stonewalling began in the 111th Congress, it reached an all-time peak after the 2010 elections when the Republicans took over control of the House and effective control of the Senate. Under the Republican dominated House of Representatives a long list of diversionary and unworkable social legislation was passed and sent to a Senate that they knew wasn't going to consider such things. At the same time, the House leadership intentionally ignored the critical issues of the day, such as job creation and tax reform that would move the country forward. One doesn't have to "figure this out" or "spin" or "invent" the facts. The words and actions of the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Speaker John Boehner, themselves speak volumes.

On the Senate side, Mitch McConnell resorted to a relatively little used filibuster ploy to bring the 112th Senate to an almost complete halt. No longer could a simple majority vote a bill up or down. Under the threat of a filibuster, a rarely invoked procedural rule now required a "super-majority" of 60 members for a bill to even come up for a vote. McConnell loudly echoed the attitude of Cantor and Boehner. We've all seen the video of the Senator in his self-incriminating announcement that the first priority of the Republicans in Congress was to limit the President to a single term. (* see 8 second sound bite on YouTube below)

This attitude has prevailed throughout the 112th's term. This, in spite of the obvious damage that this road blocking tactic has been doing to the country, and even to their own political party. Still they persisted to attempt to make the President look inept, and did so to everyone's detriment.

Our series will demonstrate what progress the 111th Congress made in its turn, not only in comparison with its successor, but how well it stands up to any past U.S. Congress. This record of achievement was accomplished in spite of the blockage in the Senate because the President still had a majority in the house and just shy of the needed 60 votes in the Senate. Responsible Conservative commentator Norman Ornstein joined a chorus of praises from political observers at the close of the 111th legislative session when he stated, "This is one of the most productive Congresses in history".
During the coming week our SNAP-CAPS will bring you legislative highlights of the accomplishments of the 111th Congress. Many of these items have been covered previously. We'll give you a handy guide to access them in our archive. We will also update anything new to report on those SNAP-CAPS. Primarily we will focus on those Obama achievements that we've not covered to date, they will be reported on in detail. You will also see how the Republican members, with a heavy push to the right by the Tea Party, repeatedly let opportunity after opportunity for advancement slip through our fingers by blocking helpful legislation. A SNAP-CAP or two will remind us of what the Republicans in the 111 & 112th Congresses stymied, delayed, or cynically shut down.

The list below represents one half of the important Legislation passed by the 111th Congress (January 2009- July 2010)
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
  • Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009
  • Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
  • Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
  • Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
  • Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009
  • Credit CARD Act of 2009
  • Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
  • Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, including the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers)
  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
  • Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009
  • Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009
  • Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act
  • Travel Promotion Act of 2009
  • Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act
  • Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010
  • Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Just imagine what the President could have accomplished for our Country with a real "loyal opposition" who would have debated issues and added their good ideas into the legislative mix. Now imagine what President Obama will be able to accomplish after being re-elected with a cooperative Democratic Congress at his back to debate on and approve a positive agenda to move the country forward. Today the Republicans have nothing else to go on so they attempt to frighten people by calling the President either a Communist or a Fascist. This name calling will not obfuscate the solid and constructive platform of accomplishments that the President is standing on for his reelection.