President Donald Trump and members of the GOP have worked hard to label Democrats as obstructionist, but they're running into a significant problem: Democrats in Congress have achieved more than Republicans in the Senate have.
A Washington Post op-ed by Katrina vanden Heuvel noted that the accusations from the GOP are curious given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has bragged that he is the "grim reaper" of legislation. Blaming Democrats for obstructionism loses its impact when you brag about your own "do nothing" chamber.
Earlier this year, Democrats were on the door-step of building a deal with Trump over a much-needed infrastructure plan. The two parties agreed overwhelmingly that they could achieve all of the goals to fix dangerous bridges and crumbling pipes creating toxic drinking water around the country. Trump was all in, but it was the Republicans in the Senate who refused to play ball, killing a piece of legislation both parties and a majority of Americans want.
"In fact, House Democrats are demonstrating what might be possible if voters decided to hand their party the Senate and White House," wrote vanden Heuvel on Tuesday. "They’ve passed landmark legislation, convened critical hearings and begun to expose and check the pervasive corruption of the Trump administration. They’ve proved that voters would feel the difference if McConnell and Trump were not standing in the way."
With Americans desperate to stop corruption in Washington, Democrats passed the "For the People Act," the most comprehensive democratic reform in history. McConnell killed it.
The House passed equal pay legislation and barred discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another bill would have helped protect DREAMers and build a pathway to citizenship. McConnell killed both.
Democrats in the House worked to pass another bill that would have lowered prescription drug prices, a campaign promise Trump made in 2016. The law would also have mandated that people with preexisting conditions would always be protected, even if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act. McConnell refused to take either up for a vote.
The House also passed universal background checks for all gun sales, something that an overwhelming number of Americans (90 percent) want to see. Still, McConnell refused to allow it to move forward.
This list is only domestic policy and doesn't take into account dangerous decisions Trump is making on foreign policy.
"All of these successes have taken place in the six months that Democrats have held the majority in the House, even as they’ve confronted a lawless, vindictive president," wrote vanden Heuvel.
She explained that the results are more than clear.
"When Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, they passed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, larded more money on the Pentagon, wasted months failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, all while the president turned his administration into a predator’s ball," she said.
With Democrats in control, she said there would be even more successful pieces of legislation passed into law without McConnell's obstruction. But only if voters decide to defeat the Republicans standing in the way.