My home state had the wonderful privilege of a visit from Paul Ryan recently. While I normally disagree with everything that comes out of this man’s mouth (because it’s either a lie or complete nonsense), I actually found a statement in his speech with which I agree. In the speech, Ryan referred to the Senate as a dysfunctional pit where important issues wallow. For once, I completely agree.
Of course, the reason for this is because Senate Republicans are following the party line and blocking every bill that they come across. Let’s look at a few important examples from this year alone:
June 2012 – Senate Republicans block the Paycheck Fairness Act
This bill “sought to bar companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities and open pathways for female employees to sue for punitive damages in cases of paycheck discrimination.”
July 2012 – Senate Republicans block the Disclose Act of 2012
This bill would have required independent groups who spend unlimited amounts of money on attack ads during elections to disclose the names of donors who contribute more than $10,000. What’s very interesting about this is that, only 12 years ago, 14 Republicans who opposed the act voted for a very similar disclosure. Those Republicans include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Both of these Senators are quoted as supporting disclosure:
Senator McConnell – “why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?”
Senator McCain – “I promise you this. I promise you there will be huge scandals… because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it… we don’t know who, who contributed it, and there is too much corruption associated with that kind of money. There will be major scandals.”
July 2012 – Senate Republicans block the Bring Jobs Home bill
This bill was intended to reward companies for bringing jobs from overseas back to the United States, a practiced termed “insourcing.” The bill would also have ended the tax deductions that companies could take on the costs of moving jobs out of the country.
You can see why I would agree with Ryan in his assessment of the dysfunction in the Senate. What he didn’t mention is that the dysfunction is coming from Senate Republicans. I will warn him, if he keeps this up, he might someday actually utter a completely honest and intelligent thought. That would tear the GOP apart.