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January 24, 2012 9:42 am ET

The 27 Republican Bills That Aren't About Jobs

From the House Republican Conference and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, congressional Republicans and their conservative allies have touted 27 measures passed by the House of Representatives that they claim are "bipartisan jobs bills awaiting Senate action." But the bills are mostly highly partisan attempts to slash regulations that protect, among other things, public health, consumer rights, workplace safety and the environment. The GOP has also dishonestly included in its count a few viable measures with popular bipartisan support; one of these is being held up in the Senate by a Republican, and the others have been placed on the Senate calendar.

Jobs Idea #1: Hamper The EPA's Ability To Protect Public Health

Jobs Idea #2: Obstruct The Federal Government's Ability To Regulate Anything

Jobs Idea #3: Build An Oil Pipeline And Open Offshore Drilling

Jobs Idea #4: Blame Senate For Holding Up Measures The House Only Passed In Late 2011

Jobs Idea #5: An Expired Bill And A Measure Held Up By A Senate Republican

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January 18, 2012 11:25 am ET

The Speaker's Pipe Dreams: Big Oil Investments Muddy Boehner's Message On Keystone XL

Shortly after the Keystone XL pipeline permit process started gaining steam in Canada and the American Midwest, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) began investing significantly in companies tied to the project. In addition, since 2008 a number of companies that stand to benefit from Keystone XL have donated thousands of dollars to Boehner since 2008. As approval has floundered, Boehner has used his clout as Speaker of the House to try to push the project through in the name of "jobs."

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December 20, 2011 2:19 pm ET

Fact-Checking PolitiFact On Its "Lie Of The Year"

Earlier in the year, Republicans in the House overwhelmingly voted on a budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan's radical piece of "right-wing social engineering," as Newt Gingrich once referred to it, aims to, among other things, convert both the Medicaid and food stamp program into block grants, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and end the single-payer health care system known as Medicare. Unfortunately, the fact checkers at PolitiFact have decided that this indisputable fact — that the Ryan budget ends what Americans have long understood as Medicare, and replaces it with a more expensive and inferior privatized health care system that will be Medicare in name alone — warranted their "Lie of the Year" designation. But PolitiFact is wrong. Republicans have voted to end what all Americans know as Medicare. As economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes of PolitiFact's decision, "they've bent over backwards to appear 'balanced.'"

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December 20, 2011 9:32 am ET

UPDATED: House Republicans Have Tried To Eliminate Up To 7.4 Million Jobs In 2011

Despite a promise to focus on job creation after taking the majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans have spent little time on legislation to create jobs or boost the economy. Instead, they've focused on bills to curb spending, many of which would eliminate jobs. Earlier this year, Political Correction published a report detailing the total number of jobs House Republicans have tried to eliminate. Since then, the House has passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. With that addition, measures passed or introduced by House Republicans would, if signed into law, potentially eliminate up to 7.4 million jobs.

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December 20, 2011 9:31 am ET

GOP In 2011: Anything But Jobs

Throughout the 2010 campaign cycle, Republicans capitalized on the struggling economy to bolster their case for election, promising to focus all their political efforts on job creation. Yet when the GOP assumed the majority in the House of Representatives, it quickly became clear that their "top political priority" — as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admitted — was to "deny President Obama a second term." As such, the GOP, particularly in the House, has spent its legislative time on anything and everything but legislation to help the struggling economy get back on its feet or to spur job creation. Instead, they've introduced bill after bill on hot-button issues, particularly women's reproductive health; they've dragged the economy to the brink of disaster by playing political games with the debt ceiling; they've done their best to undermine the social safety net by proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps; and they've tried over and over to repeal or deny funding to the landmark Affordable Care Act. Even worse, a number of the measures they've proposed would actually destroy jobs.

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December 19, 2011 9:24 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 18, 2011

This week on the Sunday political talk shows, topics of discussion ranged far and wide. On Fox News Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney advocated for block granting Medicaid despite the harm that would do to those who rely on the program. On This Week, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) distorted the content of a CBO report on income inequality. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), appearing on Meet the Press, shared several false claims: that employers are concerned about "uncertainty," and that the Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 jobs. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), also on Meet the Press, did the same, falsely asserting that there's no evidence the payroll tax holiday created jobs and that Iran has threatened the U.S. and Israel with nuclear weapons.

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December 12, 2011 12:11 pm ET

Republicans: Payroll Tax Holiday Isn't "Stimulating" Enough

A prominent group of Republican lawmakers are opposing Obama administration efforts to extend a payroll tax holiday — due to expire on December 31 — that would continue putting more money in the pockets of working Americans. Opponents lean heavily on the argument that the current payroll tax holiday has not had a sufficiently stimulative effect on the economy, but experts disagree, arguing that the holiday has helped bolster the recovering economy.

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December 12, 2011 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 11, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a major focus on the debate over the payroll tax cut extension. On Face the Nation, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked President Obama and "Newt Romney" — a name for Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney she came up with during Saturday's debate — over the payroll tax cut, saying there's no evidence the cut helped create jobs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the tax cut an 'emergency measure' and said it wouldn't be necessary if President Obama's "failed" policies hadn't resulted in a higher deficit and jobless rates. McConnell, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also pushed for the Keystone Pipeline using discredited job creation numbers.

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December 05, 2011 9:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 4, 2011

On the first Sunday of December, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus each brought their share of falsehoods to the table. On CNN's State of the Union, Bachmann dismissed the economic significance of the payroll tax holiday even though economists explain that putting more money in the hands of workers would give an appreciable boost to the economy. She also appeared on Fox News Sunday, where she falsely claimed that businesses aren't hiring because they don't have enough money. During his appearances, Priebus did his best to attack the Obama administration's record, distorting the reasons behind November's unemployment rate drop on Meet the Press. He also tried to blame President Obama for deficits that are a legacy of Bush-era Republican policies and for a rising poverty rate that's the result of the recession.

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November 28, 2011 9:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 27, 2011

On the last Sunday of November, Republicans had a lot of airtime — and lots of lies. On Meet the Press, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform regurgitated the false Republican talking point that Obama's stimulus plan "killed jobs." Freshman Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) made an appearance on This Week to claim the deficit is not a revenue problem, a statement disputed by historically low revenue intake. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News Sunday to hype the "Toomey Plan", claiming that it would have raised revenues while paying down the debt, leaving out that the plan trades regressive tax cuts for only small revenue increases. Lastly, Herman Cain appeared on State of the Union to claim that unemployment benefits shouldn't be extended because they are a 'distraction' from the real problem of a lack of economic growth. But the Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are a "timely and cost-effective" way to spur on the economy.

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November 21, 2011 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 20, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows focused almost exclusively on the efforts of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, with a number of the committee's members appearing on separate shows. Democratic committee member Sen. John Kerry (MA) pointed out on Meet the Press that "we are not a tax-cutting committee. We're a deficit-reduction committee." However, that point doesn't seem to have gotten through to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), all of whom complained that the only thing stopping a deal was a refusal by Democrats to extend the costly and regressive Bush tax cuts. For the second time in as many weeks, Hensarling argued that the Bush tax cuts were not one of the largest drivers of the debt, while Kyl claimed that not extending them would wreck the economy. Toomey went so far as to say that that the federal government does not have a revenue problem but only a spending problem.

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November 14, 2011 10:29 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 13, 2011

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal headlined the political talk shows on Sunday, but Republican leaders still found plenty of time to air dishonest talking points about conservative policies. GOP super committee members Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) misled viewers about the root of the debt problem the committee is trying to solve and what Republicans have proposed to address it. In particular, both lawmakers severely distorted the impact of the failed Bush tax cuts. Elsewhere, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared that Republicans want to "reduce taxes on every single American," ignoring the party leaders demanding that the poor pay higher taxes, and struggling presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that "what we need to win this war on terror" is the reinstatement of Bush-approved torture techniques.

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November 07, 2011 10:57 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 6, 2011

With much of the airtime on this week's Sunday political talk shows devoted to discussing the Herman Cain scandal and Gov. Rick Perry's (R-TX) antics, the substantive issues took a back seat. Yet a few key Republicans still managed to squeeze in a couple of standard GOP attacks. On This Week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claimed that the stimulus "has not worked," a falsehood echoed by presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Meet the Press. Boehner also found time to inflate the effect of a millionaires' surtax on small-business owners, and to deny that congressional Republicans have gone after America's social safety net. In fact, one major Republican initiative — the House-passed GOP budget plan — proposed to upend major safety net programs for children, the poor, and seniors.

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November 04, 2011 3:05 pm ET

GOP Responses To Jobs Report Ignore Main Obstacle To Growth

With the news this morning that the private economy added 104,000 jobs but the public sector shed 24,000, prominent Republicans had a chance to trot out the same tired, debunked explanation for slow economic growth they've been using throughout the Obama presidency. According to the GOP, job creators are not hiring because of regulations and high spending from Washington, D.C. But according to the job creators themselves, regulations, taxes and spending are not the issue — they simply don't have enough customers to justify expanding their workforces. The problem continues to be weak demand.

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October 24, 2011 9:40 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 23, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows focused primarily on national security, with the shows' Republican guests universally condemning the administration's announcement late last week that the remaining American troops would withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011. In the process of trashing President Obama's record on foreign policy on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) found time to suggest that trying terrorist suspects in civilian courts was unprecedented and dangerous, even though the Bush administration successfully prosecuted a number of prominent terrorists in federal courts, which tend to hand down stricter sentences than military commissions. Later on the same show, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) misrepresented President Ronald Reagan's legacy when she explained that her economic policy proposal "takes a page out of Ronald Reagan's blueprint," which she claimed created an "economic miracle" in the 1980s. On State of the Union, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) focused on economic falsehoods, attacking proposals to tax income over $1 million by inflating the number of small businesses affected and suggesting falsely that the American people don't support such a plan. He continued misinforming the audience, suggesting their biggest concern is over-reguation despite strong evidence that lack of demand is a much more pressing issue.

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October 21, 2011 9:45 am ET

Rep. Cantor's Class Warfare

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is speaking at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School today (Update: Cantor's scheduled speech was canceled), where he plans to discuss how to bridge the gap between rich and poor in the United States. Given that Cantor has dedicated his political career to upholding this disparity, he has wealth of knowledge on the topic. Since becoming House Majority Leader, Cantor has done everything in his power to protect the wealthy from making the same sacrifices he's determined to force upon everyone else. Whether he's working to end Medicare for seniors, withholding relief from disaster victims to secure further spending cuts, or using the unemployed as political fodder while rejecting policies that will create jobs, Eric Cantor has proven that he is committed to making life easier for people who are already on top, even if it comes at the expense of those who are struggling.

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October 17, 2011 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 16, 2011

Republicans spent their Sunday morning TV appearances blaming Democrats for the economy and trying to convince Wall Street protesters to join them in their scapegoating. Contrary to what Herman Cain and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed, the facts show that private firms, not government entities, inflated the subprime mortgage bubble, and Wall Street, not Democrats, turned those loans into an elaborate casino game that left the entire country on the hook for their bad bets. Similarly, Cantor and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were wrong to suggest that Democratic policies on taxes and regulations are hurting the economy, and that Republican proposals will do more to create jobs than President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act. In addition, Cain claimed that his "9-9-9" tax plan won't hurt the poor and implied that Obama has cut defense spending, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) blamed the credit downgrade on the president, and Sen. McCain said that Obama never spoke up on behalf of Iranian protesters in 2009. In each case, the facts disagree.

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October 11, 2011 10:31 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 9, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows were chock full of the misinformation that we've come to expect from conservatives. On CBS' Face The Nation, presidential hopeful Herman Cain told viewers that his 9-9-9 economic plan was revenue neutral and disputed the charge that it is regressive. However, his plan would cut taxes for the very wealthy and "disproportionately tax lower and middle income earners." Cain also appeared on CNN's State of the Union, where he claimed that 50 percent of taxpayers account for just 3 percent of all taxes. On NBC's Meet the Press, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed that businesses are not hiring because of regulatory uncertainty. That is not supported by the facts, however: Economists and business owners point to weak consumer demand, not uncertainty. And finally, Rick Santorum, another presidential contender, continued his homophobic ways by telling Fox News host Chris Wallace that being gay is a choice.

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October 07, 2011 1:21 pm ET

Meet Anti-Choice Crusader Rep. Cliff Stearns

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, may not be the most visible opponent of reproductive rights, but his recently launched investigation into Planned Parenthood and its affiliates has brought to light his extensive anti-choice record. In the wake of lobbying efforts by social conservative groups, Stearns has requested years of the reproductive health care provider's financial and policy records — a transparent attempt to find an excuse to deprive the organization of funding and disrupt its services. Meet Cliff Stearns, a new Tea Party caucus member and pawn of the right currently leading the crusade against women's rights.

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October 06, 2011 2:01 pm ET

The House GOP's Crusade Against Reproductive Rights

In September, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, initiated an investigation of Planned Parenthood's financial records looking for misappropriated federal funds and requesting paperwork going back over 13 years. This Republican vendetta against Planned Parenthood is part of a larger fight in which Republicans are trying to prevent women from being in control of their reproductive health. To that end, House Republicans introduced a multitude of bills and amendments since January that would chip away at women's reproductive rights by eliminating Title X funding, defunding Planned Parenthood, imposing harsh restrictions on funding for abortions, replacing sexual education programs with abstinence-only programs, redefining rape to limit abortion exceptions, reinstating the global gag rule, supporting crisis pregnancy centers and imposing harsher parental notification laws.

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September 21, 2011 10:36 pm ET

What Happened To The Republican Consensus On Climate Change?

In May right-wing activist Marc Morano said Republican candidates "can believe in the science of global warming ... if you keep your mouth shut about it and you advocate no quote-unquote solution to the problem." By contrast, the following statements show that in previous years, prominent Republicans spoke about both the robust body of evidence indicating that human activities are changing the climate and the need to address the problem. While the political discourse has since regressed, the scientific consensus has not.

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September 19, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 18, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a litany of standard GOP untruths. On CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) repeated the favorite false Republican talking point of late: that businesses aren't hiring because of "uncertainty." He was joined in his lie by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and presidential candidate Herman Cain, both of whom appeared on Fox News Sunday. Both Cain and Ryan also revived an old piece of misinformation — that raising taxes on top earners would disproportionately harm small businesses — which was echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). For his part, Graham misrepresented the public's opinion on taxing the wealthy, and absurdly claimed that "everything" — including unemployment — is worse because of President Obama's policies. Ryan dredged up some old lies about the House-passed GOP budget's effects on Medicare, which it would essentially destroy, and then falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board puts bureaucrats in charge of "rationing."

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September 12, 2011 9:53 am ET

Meet The Woman Rep. Bachmann 'Hopes To Be Someday'

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) recently praised anti-feminist crusader Phyllis Schlafly as her "lifeline to what was happening in the world" when she was "a young bride and a young mother." Calling the woman who says paper diapers did more for women than feminism "the mother of the modern conservative movement," Bachmann insisted Schlafly is "there on every issue, on every front." Schlafly's major claim to fame is her role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment; today she warns against encroaching socialism as a result of President Obama's policies. A closer look at the woman Bachmann calls "my dear mentor and the person that I hope to be some day" reveals the type of president Bachmann intends to be.

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September 08, 2011 6:00 pm ET

Oversight Report Doubles Down On Stimulus Inaccuracy

Rep. Issa's (R-CA) House Oversight Committee has issued a extensively titled report, Doubling Down on Failure: Before Asking for a New Stimulus Package, Will the Obama Administration Admit that the First One Failed?, which cites a debunked study from Ohio State University to make the claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 "destroyed" one million private-sector jobs.

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September 06, 2011 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 4, 2011

The Labor Day editions of the Sunday political shows featured a would-be president lying about energy policy and a so-called "Tea Party kingmaker" lying about safety net programs. On CBS, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) defended her promise that as president she would bring gas prices below $2 per gallon by claiming that President Obama has put American energy resources "off limits." Actual energy experts have said repeatedly that government policies aren't behind rising gas prices, which were "inevitable" in light of the artificially low prices brought about by the economic collapse. And the statistics don't back up Bachmann's accusations about Obama's policies. Meanwhile, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told ABC viewers that Social Security is bankrupt (even though it isn't) and claimed on CNN that unemployment benefits don't create jobs (even though they do).

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August 29, 2011 5:28 pm ET

FLASHBACK: Rep. Cantor Did Not Mention Offsetting Cuts In 2004 Requests For Disaster Relief

In 2011, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has consistently opposed federal disaster relief without offsetting budget cuts. However, Cantor didn't always prioritize fiscal "discipline" over helping his constituents recover from disasters. After Tropical Storm Gaston hit the Richmond, VA area in 2004, Cantor appealed to President Bush and DHS Director Tom Ridge for disaster assistance and took credit for securing federal funds when they became available.

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August 23, 2011 2:56 pm ET

Rep. Cantor Distorts EPA Regulations And NLRB Enforcement In Dishonest Op-Ed

In a Washington Post op-ed, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) argues that President Obama's "anti-business, hyper-regulatory" agenda contributed to the downgrade in America's credit rating by stifling economic growth and exacerbating the debt problem. To support his case, Cantor cites three specific examples of allegedly regulation run amok: the Environmental Protection Agency's "Transport Rule," new standards for cement manufacturing, and the recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board to bring a case against Boeing's decision to move its plant to South Carolina from Washington state. Predictably, Cantor misleads on all three examples. Furthermore, Standard & Poor's based its downgrade decision largely on "political brinksmanship" by congressional Republicans, led by Cantor, who threatened to let the nation default on its debt.

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August 18, 2011 3:51 pm ET

GOP Dissembling On Stimulus: Now In Exciting New Graphic Form!

Misrepresenting the effects of the Recovery Act has become a standard strategy for the GOP, which recently decided to spruce up its stale message with a fancy chart. The chart and accompanying blog post, which appear on House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) website, allege that the stimulus was a "failure" that "left us with 1.3 million fewer jobs and sky-high unemployment." But the truth about the Recovery Act boils down to a question of timelines: Republicans insist on examining the unemployment picture beginning the minute the Recovery Act passed into law, despite the fact that it's ridiculous to suggest that the funds and policies it authorized could immediately reverse the downward economic spiral that started before President Obama's election. A more honest way to count jobs is to look at when the Recovery Act began to affect the economy. Indeed, since June 2009, the economy has gained a net of over one million jobs while the private sector has added jobs for 17 consecutive months. Of course, the current unemployment picture is indeed worse than projected in 2009 — that's because the recession was far deeper than anyone realized.

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August 16, 2011 5:19 pm ET

REALITY CHECK: Rep. Mica Rewrites History, Politics Of His FAA Shutdown

In a letter to the editor of the Florida Times-Union last Friday, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) attempted to rewrite the reasons behind the recent shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. Unfortunately for the Republican transportation chairman, the real reasons are well documented: Mica led the GOP's effort last spring to revert to an old, anti-labor rule for union elections in FAA-regulated industries, and when Democrats rejected that move it became necessary to pass another short-term extension of FAA authority. With that short-term extension expiring, and Congress set to recess for the rest of August, Mica attempted to gain political leverage for the anti-union rule by including a cut to rural airport subsidies which would impact airports in states represented by Democratic senators. We know that Mica's move was about leverage and not policy because he said so himself, on the record.

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August 11, 2011 6:40 pm ET

GOP Social Security Schemes Would Only Harm Retirees

As the anniversary of Social Security nears, it's important to remember how Republicans have approached the program. Beginning with a Bush-era commission on Social Security reform and continuing up through Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) "Roadmap for America's Future," Republicans have sought over the last decade to disrupt the Social Security system via a variety of schemes. Their proposals, which have often included privatization plans and "progressive price indexing," would introduce uncertainty into retirees' lives by attaching payouts to the ups and downs of the market, and would amount to substantial benefit cuts for many Americans.

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