Progress Report: In First 100 Days of Congress, Senate Republicans Have Put Special Interests Over The American People

April 12, 2017

Today marks the 100th day of the 115th Congress. 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bills that would improve the lives of millions of Americans, Republicans have advanced special interest priorities and repealed commonsense consumer protections.

“Congressional Republicans haven’t done much in their first one hundred days, but what they have done has exclusively benefited the special interests at the expense of the middle class,” said Senator Schumer. “In the Senate, the Republican majority hasn’t lifted a finger to help the middle class or create jobs, choosing instead to spend their time rolling back consumer protections to help powerful interests pad their bottom line. Unfortunately for the American people, there is no real legislative agenda to help America’s workers anywhere in sight.”

In the first 100 days of other congresses during 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.

IN FIRST 100 DAYS OF CONGRESS, REPUBLICANS FAILED TO MEASURE UP

2017 [First 100 Days of 115th Congress in President Trump’s First Year]: Republicans passed minor legislation and repealed commonsense consumer protections. Republicans broke the rules of the Senate to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. House Republicans failed to garner the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a signature campaign promise. No major legislation was brought to the Senate floor.

2009 [First 100 Days of 111th Congress in President Obama’s First Year]: The Senate passed and President Obama signed major legislation into law, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stimulus bill,”), the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

2001 [First 100 Days of 107th Congress in President George W. Bush’s First Year]: The Senate passed McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and significant, bipartisan bankruptcy reform legislation.

1993 [First 100 Days of 103rd Congress in President Clinton’s First Year]: President Clinton signed into law the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Senate passed an initial version of the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter Act.”

1989 [First 100 Days of 101st Congress in President George H.W. Bush’s First Year]: The Senate passed an increase in the minimum wage. President Bush signed into law bipartisan legislation to protect whistleblowers.

INSTEAD, REPUBLICANS HAVE SUPPORTED SPECIAL INTERESTS AND DESTROYED COMMONSENSE CONSUMER PROTECTIONS THAT WILL HURT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

Republicans have spent nearly every legislative hour repealing protections that help special interests – not the American people.

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]

WHAT’S NEXT? MORE SPECIAL INTEREST GIVEAWAYS

Senate Republican leaders admit they have “holes in the schedule” because of Republican dysfunction in Congress and in the White House.

Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX): Without nominations, and with the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace stalled in the House, “We’re going to have some holes in the calendar,” he [Cornyn] said. [RCP, 4/6/17]

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell declined to state what Republicans’ priorities are going forward.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

QUESTION: Anything beyond just spending bills?

MCCONNELL: Sure, there will be other bills. Well, I'll announce them when we get to them. [Press Conference, 4/7/17]

Now, Republicans are set to dedicate the Senate’s time to more special interest giveaways.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “The two things that will get us going again -- one is regulatory relief, and we've done 11 CRAs already. We hope to do a few more before the time runs out.” [Press Conference, 4/7/17]