Jun 12, 2012

Republicans Putting Their Perks and Pay Before their Constituents

Republicans Vote to Protect Their Perks and Pay. The following is a clarification on Vote #376. Republicans voted against cutting their office budget. Republicans voted against cutting 10% of what they spent on franked mail from their budget. [HR 5882, Vote #376, 6/08/12]

Republicans Voted to Cut Medicare and Assistance for Veterans… 

Republicans voted to deeply cut Medicare and raise seniors’ health care costs

Background: House Republicans voted to pass a plan that ends Medicare, and replaces it with a voucher program for Americans under the age of 55. This would raise seniors’ costs, reduce benefits, and put private insurance companies in charge of seniors’ health care. Under the House Republicans’ proposed voucher system, seniors would lose the Medicare guarantee of a defined set of benefits and instead simply get an increasingly inadequate voucher. According to the nonpartisan CBO, the GOP plan would increase seniors’ out-of-pocket health care costs by more than $6,000 in 2022.

Source: FY2012 Ryan Budget, H.Con.Res. 34, Vote #277, 04/15/11.

Republicans voted to against assisting homeless Veterans

Background: In 2011, House Republicans voted to eliminate $75 million from the program that provides assistance to homeless veterans.

Source: H.R. 1, Vote #147, 02/19/11.

Republicans voted to balance the budget on the backs of our Veterans 

Background: The measure would have prohibited the House of Representatives or the Senate from considering any balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that could result in a reduction in Veterans’ benefits.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 2560, Vote #605, 07/19/11.

BUT Voted to Protect Their Own Perks and Pay!

Republicans voted to keep first-class flights at taxpayer expense

Background: The Democratic Budget would have prohibited Members from using taxpayer funds to purchase first-class airfare or to lease corporate jets.

Source: Democratic Budget, H.Amdt. 1004, Vote #150, 03/29/12.

Republicans refused to cut taxpayer funding for the Member gym, beauty salon, barber shop, and the House dining room

Background: The Democratic Budget would have required the House Administration Committee to cut taxpayer subsidies for the Member gym, barber shop, beauty salon, and House dining room. 

Source: Democratic Budget, H.Amdt. 1004, Vote #150, 03/29/12. 

Republicans voted to protect his/her own salary during a government shutdown, but voted against the same protections for the troops

Background: This is a result of combining votes on two separate motions to recommit. The first measure would have prevented Members of Congress from receiving basic pay in the event of a government shutdown. The second measure would have ensured that the troops’ pay not be interrupted in the event of a government shutdown. 

Sources: (1) Motion to Recommit on H.R. 1255, Vote #223, 04/01/11; (2) Motion to Recommit on H.R. 1363, Vote #246, 04/07/11.

Republicans voted to protect a loophole that allows Members of Congress to personally collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in agriculture subsidies

Background: The Democratic Budget would have limited the amount that Members of Congress can personally receive in taxpayer-funded agriculture subsidies to $26,955 a year — the same as the limit on outside pay for Members of Congress. (Members already make an annual salary of $174,000.)

Source: Democratic Budget, H.Amdt. 1004, Vote #150, 03/29/12. 

Republicans voted to hide giving themselves a tax break  

Background: The measure would have required Members of Congress to publicly disclose if they receive a personal tax break from the bill’s small business tax cut. 

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 9, Vote #176, 04/19/12.

Republicans voted to protect taxpayer-funded pensions for Members of Congress who become millionaire lobbyists

Background: The measure would have ensured that Members of Congress who go on to become millionaire lobbyists won’t receive cushy, taxpayer-funded Congressional pensions.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 5652, Vote #246, 05/10/12.

Republicans voted to protect glossy, self-promotional mailers sent at taxpayer expense

Vote #1

Background: The measure would have cut by 10% the official franked mail component of House Members’ office budgets, known as the Member’s Representational Allowance (MRA). Members of Congress waste over $5 million a year using franked mail to send expensive, glossy, self-promotional mailers to their constituents — all at taxpayer expense. Communications can be done electronically, and Members can spend their own money on their glossy, self-promotional mailers.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 5882, Vote #367, 06/08/12.

Vote #2

Background: The measure would have cut by 10% the amount House Members’ spent on franked mail in 2011. Members of Congress waste over $5 million a year using franked mail to send expensive, glossy, self-promotional mailers to their constituents — all at taxpayer expense. Communications can be done electronically, and Members can spend their own money on their glossy, self-promotional mailers.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 5882, Vote #367, 06/08/12.

Republicans voted to gamble Social Security benefits on Wall Street

Background: The measure would have required that none of the funds in the short-term funding resolution (CR) be used to cut or privatize Social Security, reduce Medicare, turn Medicare into a voucher program, or roll back health coverage for seniors.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.J.Res. 48, Vote #178, 03/15/11.

Republicans voted to give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas

Background: The measure would have prevented companies that outsource American jobs from receiving the 20% tax deduction in the underlying bill.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 9, Vote #176, 04/19/12.

Republicans voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil companies

Background: The measure would have repealed tax breaks for major integrated oil companies (i.e., the Big 5) for the 2-week period in the proposed budget resolution.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.J.Res. 44, Vote #153, 03/01/11.

Republicans voted to keep their government health care while repealing yours

Background: The measure would have required a majority of Members to waive their taxpayer-provided health care in order for repeal of health care reform to take effect.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 2, Vote #13, 01/19/11.

Republicans opposed putting fraudsters in the penalty box 

Background: The measure would have prohibited the Coast Guard from awarding a contract to anyone convicted of fraud or other criminal offenses including embezzlement theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax evasion, violating criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 2383, Vote # 841, 11/15/11. 

Republicans voted to protect wasteful earmarks

Background: Republicans voted to protect two egregious earmarks: (1) one earmark for a Canadian highway; and (2) one earmark for a wasteful, multi-billion dollar earmark for the powerful Republican Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus.

Source: Motion to Recommit on H.R. 4348, Vote #169, 04/18/12.


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