“The biggest barrier and impediment we have right now is the Congress, and in particular the House of Representatives, that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people and is a lot more focused on trying to position themselves for the next election.”
Now, to be fair, all politicians are trying to position themselves to win the next election. What I think President Obama was more specifically alluding to was the way in which Republicans blatantly pander to the tea party out of fear of facing a primary challenge from their own party.
And he was undoubtedly referring to their ridiculous obstruction toward anything that might have helped our economy leading up to the 2012 election. Republicans deliberately tried to sabotage our economic growth, hoping that by doing so they might prevent Obama from winning re-election.
But for years House Republicans have been the problem. Quite a few times the Senate has passed a bipartisan piece of legislation that President Obama said he would sign, only to have it die in the House of Representatives because Speaker of the House John Boehner wouldn’t even allow it to come up for a vote.
Our government shutdown was a perfect example of this. Before the shutdown began, the House of Representatives was given a continuing resolution that the Senate passed, and would have kept the government open — except Boehner refused to allow the House to vote on a clean version of the Senate’s resolution.
Immigration reform is another great example of this. A few months ago the Senate crafted bipartisan immigration reform which the president said he would sign — yet it sat in the House of Representatives, with Boehner saying the House has no plans to take up the Senate’s immigration bill.
While Republicans like to use the line that the House of Representatives “is the people’s house,” they always fail to mention a key fact — Republicans might control the House, but Democrats actually won the overall popular vote in the House last fall by over 1.5 million votes.
If it wasn’t for Republicans gerrymandering congressional districts in their states, Democrats would control the House of Representatives.
After all, you really can’t “represent the people” when the majority of the people who voted last fall didn’t vote for your party.
I just hope Obama’s remarks at this fundraiser are the first step in him taking the offensive against the Republican party. Far too often he’s allowed Republicans to control the message. However, heading into 2014, I firmly believe we must take the fight to them.
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