Campaign 2010

Mar 08, 2006

Desperately Seeking Message: GOP Leadership Issues Cry for Help

DCCC Press

Mar 8, 2006

Desperately Seeking Message: GOP Leadership Issues Cry for Help

With Comments Like Boehner’s Yesterday, It’s No Wonder Democrats are Dominating Republicans by 14 Points in the Last CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll (3/7/06)

John Boehner, 3/7/06: “I am working with our conference to develop a comprehensive vision, collective vision for our party. It is a long, slow, arduous process. Out of that, I hope that it will dictate a direction that we are going to go this year and long term. And while I would hope -- I would hope that we could agree on one big issue that we would fight for, you know, it is really for the Members to decide. What I have got to do is provide the process to see if we can get ourselves there.” [Boehner Pen and Pad, 3/7/06]

(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, in his second ever weekly meeting with reporters, newly elected Republican leader John Boehner declared that the GOP was looking for a message, and a direction. While Boehner is providing a process for the Republicans to figure out what they’re doing, American families are suffering with more expensive gas, higher home heating costs and record prescription drug prices. The “long, slow, arduous process” is costing middle class families in very real ways and it is long past time for them to decide on their direction.

“After six years of doing nothing but rubberstamp President Bush’s failed policies, of course Republicans in Congress are desperately looking for a message that works, especially now that Bush’s support has reached historically anemic lows,” said Bill Burton, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The Republican Congress’ lack of purpose and direction has cost America dearly. In November, it’s going to cost a lot of Republicans their careers.”

Looking for a Direction in All the Wrong Places:

$22 Billion in HMO Giveaways. After intense lobbying from the health insurance industry, yesterday’s budget saves HMOs $22 billion dollars. “House and Senate GOP negotiators, meeting behind closed doors last month to complete a major budget-cutting bill, agreed on a change to Senate-passed Medicare legislation that would save the health insurance industry $22 billion over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.” [Vote #4, 2/1/06, Washington Post, 1/24/2006]

$14 Billion in Energy Company Giveaways. Last summer, under DeLay and Boehner leadership, President Bush’s energy bill was passed by the Republican Congress. The bill included a record $14 billion in giveaways to the energy companies, who reported record profits shortly after the bill’s passage. One company, ExxonMobil, reported earning $9.92 billion in the third quarter and $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of last year alone. [H.R. 6, Vote #445, 7/28/05]

$12.7 Billion in Student Aid Cuts. Last year, the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress, led by indicted Republican Tom DeLay and John Boehner passed the largest raid on federal student aid in American history. By cutting billions from student aid, the Republican Congress made it that much tougher for students to receive higher education. The raid on student aid increased the burden on borrowers while padding the pockets of the lending companies. [S 1932, Vote #670, 12/19/05]

The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. America’s seniors have John Boehner and the Republican Congress to thank for the new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that recently went into effect. Early reports indicate that fewer than expected seniors are signing up and that a majority of Americans find the bill confusing and hard to understand. The bill is loaded with giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry and some seniors are expected to pay more in deductibles and premiums, pay for coverage when they are receiving none and lose coverage altogether. [H.R. 1, Vote #669, 11/22/03; Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/2004 report; New York Times, 7/14/2004; Associated Press, 11/26/03, AP, 1/23/06]