Congressional Democrats on Friday slammed the Republican-run House of Representatives for a perceived "do-nothing" record on everything from middle-class tax cuts to federal drought relief and postal reform.
A day after both houses of Congress unofficially began a five-week recess - the chambers won't reconvene until after Labor Day - Democrats fired a broadside press release highlighting what House GOP leaders had left undone before leaving town.
Democrats focused their attack on middle-class tax cuts. The Senate voted 51-48 to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for families that earn less than $250,000, but the House voted to reject that bill 257-170.
House Republicans described the Democratic approach as akin to a tax increase and resisted many of the other proposals based on spending concerns and over-reaching government regulation.
That didn't stop Democrats in the Senate from bashing the House GOP.
"Senate Democrats have succeeded in passing bill after bill that would cut taxes for the middle class and strengthen the economy. Rather than doing its part, the Republican House has gone on summer vacation, stranding Senate bills and leaving the American people in the lurch," the Democratic Policy and Communications Center said in a statement Friday afternoon.
House GOP leaders on Thursday rejected a Senate-passed version of the farm bill, which Democrats said would have saved $23 billion. But House GOP leaders said the environmental and conservation programs were too expensive and wanted to cut $639 billion from those efforts.
Senate Democrats also passed bills to reform the U.S. Postal Service, which is going into default because of a fiscal shortfall, and to reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act.
House GOP leaders rejected both ideas, preferring other ideas for postal reform and arguing against the Violence Against Women Act. Conservative Republicans have traditionally objected to provisions in the VAWA law for same-sex couples and illegal immigrants.
by RTT Staff Writer
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