A Big Red “F”: In 2017, Trump and Republican Senate Fall Behind Recent Presidencies, Rig the System Against Working Americans

December 21, 2017

In 2017, Senate Republicans and President Trump have failed the middle class.  Instead of working on productive, bipartisan bills that would improve the lives of millions of Americans, Republicans have advanced special interest priorities and repealed commonsense consumer protections. 


In the first year under previous administrations, the Senate focused on positive, impactful legislation that would make a difference in Americans’ lives. But under President Trump, Republicans in Congress have shown time and time again they have the wrong priorities.

Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Republicans have spent every waking hour catering to the wealthy and special interests, leaving the middle class and those struggling to get there as an afterthought. In so doing, they have cemented their legacy as the party of the rich. If you ask the top 1% how Senate Republicans did this year, they’d give them an A. If you ask corporations how they did this year, they’d give them an A. If you ask the wealthiest Americans who have taken advantage of tax loopholes how they did this year, they’d give them an A. But if you ask middle class Americans, they’d give the Republicans a big red F.”

IN FIRST SESSION OF CONGRESS UNDER TRUMP, REPUBLICANS FAILED TO MEASURE UP

2017 [First Session of Congress under President Trump]: Republicans passed H.R.1, a tax bill that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and big corporations, via a partisan reconciliation process. That bill has not yet been signed into law. Republicans spent their first year working to repeal the Affordable Care act, endangering health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. Republicans repealed commonsense consumer protections. Republicans broke the rules of the Senate to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

2009 [First Session of Congress under President Obama]: The Senate passed and President Obama signed major legislation into law, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stimulus”), the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Senate passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Senate also confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

2001 [First Session of Congress under President George W. Bush]: The Senate passed and President Bush signed major legislation into law, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act and the USA PATRIOT Act.  The Senate passed the No Child Left Behind Act, McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and significant, bipartisan bankruptcy reform legislation.

1993 [First Session of Congress under President Clinton]: The Senate passed and President Clinton signed into law the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter Act,” the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act Federal Firearms License Reform Act, and the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. The Senate passed the House of Representatives Campaign Spending Limit and Election Reform Act, and the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The Senate also confirmed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

1989 [First Session of Congress under President George H.W. Bush]: The Senate passed and President Bush signed into law the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, a bill to implement the Bipartisan Accord on Central America, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Amendments Act, including an increase in the minimum wage.

REPUBLICANS HAVE SUPPORTED SPECIAL INTERESTS AND DESTROYED COMMONSENSE CONSUMER PROTECTIONS, HARMING THE INTERESTS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

H.J.Res.111, Undermining Consumer Protections for Financial Products

Republicans voted to limit consumers’ rights by loosening the rules on financial institutions.  The change makes it easier for banks and financial forms to force consumers in mandatory arbitration. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 249]

H.J.66, Making It Harder to Save for Retirement

Republicans voted to eliminate a rule that made it easier for states to set up retirement accounts for private-sector workers. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 120]

H.J.Res.43, Limiting Women’s Health Care Options

Republicans voted to roll back protections for family planning clinics and to allow discrimination against our nation’s family planning providers. The rule would have clarified existing Title X protections and protected providers from discrimination. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 101]

H.J.Res.67, Attacking Americans’ Ability to Save for Retirement

Republican voted to limit retirement savings options for millions of Americans. State treasurers from across the country said that the resolution “would make it more difficult for states and municipalities to seek solutions to the growing retirement savings crisis.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 99]

S.J.Res.34, Letting Internet Providers Sell Customer Personal Data Without Consent 

Republicans voted to allow internet providers to sell customers' personal data without consent. The FCC rule would have protected consumers and their data from being sold without permission by their broadband provider, but Republicans stopped it from implementation.  [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 94]

H.J.Res.83, Decreasing Worker Safety by Limiting Employer Injury Recording

Republicans voted to reduce worker safety by eliminating requirements to keep records of recordable injuries or illnesses. The OSHA rule would have explained that recording requirements do not stop if an employer fails to create records. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 93]

H.J.Res.69, Allowing Cruel and Unsporting Hunting Practices

Republicans voted to allow more cruel methods of killing wildlife. The rule would not have prevented hunting but would have eliminated “scientifically indefensible” methods of killing. The Humane Society called the resolution “a cruel, mean-spirited, and duplicitous legislative maneuver.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 92]


H.J.Res.42, Wasting Taxpayer Dollars While Not Helping the Unemployed or Taxpayers

Republicans voted to undermine a bipartisan compromise on drug testing of unemployment insurance claimants. The resolution could result in greater confusion and uncertainty for states. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 87]

H.J.Res.57, Undermining Public Education

Republicans voted to undermine clarity in the Every Student Succeeds Act. The passage of this resolution could result in vulnerable students being left behind. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 84]

H.J.Res.58, Blocking the Teacher Preparation Rule

Republicans voted to block a rule ensuring our nation’s teachers are prepared to teach our nation’s students. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 83]

H.J.Res.44, Stopping Americans from Having A Say in the Management of Public Lands

Republicans voted to block a rule to increase transparency and improve management of public lands. Hunting and sportsmen’s groups said the rule “increases federal agency transparency and incorporates best practices in land-use planning, while maintaining the important cooperating agency role of state and local governments.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 82]

H.J.Res.37, Blocking Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

Republicans voted against rules forcing federal contractors to pay fair wages and provide safe workplaces. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 81]

H.J.Res.40, Allowing Americans with Mental Impairment Easier Access to Guns

Republicans voted to reverse a rule that would have made it harder for Americans with known mental disorders to own guns. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 66]

H.J.Res.41, Reversing Anti-Corruption Rule


Republicans voted against increased transparency for oil and mining companies that make payments to foreign governments.
[115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 51]

H.J.Res.38, Endangering Clean Water and Public Health

Republicans voted to undermine the government’s ability to protect our water from mountaintop mining pollutants. [115th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 43]