For months, Donald Trump has claimed repeatedly that the House majority is a bunch of “Do Nothing Democrats,” too focused on impeachment to do anything else. But at the end of their first year back in power, the numbers tell the opposite story.
Democrats gained 41 seats in the 2018 midterm elections and won a majority, promising action and oversight. Since January, the House of Representatives has passed 591 bills and resolutions, though just 94 have made it through the Senate.
Almost all of these were passed before the House impeached Trump last week.
The numbers in the Republican-controlled Senate paint a different reality. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to block all progressive legislation and has joked that he is the “Grim Reaper” of Capitol Hill.
In 2019, the Senate has held 428 roll call votes. The vast majority — 318 — of those votes were related to Trump’s nominees to the courts or executive branch. Even some Senate Republicans complained the chamber did little but nominations.
The bills that passed the House and have been held up by McConnell include several popular proposals, including some that Trump himself has claimed to support. Some 275 of the House-passed measures awaiting action had bipartisan support and 111 of them were even authored by members of the House Republican minority.
Among the major items passed by the House in 2019, but not by the Senate were:
- HR 1, a bill to fight government corruption and reinvigorate American democracy
- HR 3, a bill to reduce the cost of prescription drugs
- HR 4, a bill to protect voting rights
- HR 5, the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination
- HR 6, a bill to protect DREAMers, those brought to the country as children by their undocumented parents
- HR 7, a bill to guarantee fair pay and fight sex discrimination
- HR 8, a bill to require background checks for all gun purchases
- HR 9, a bill to protect the climate by remaining part of the Paris accords
- HR 582, a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage
- HR 5377, a bill to restore state and local tax deductions for taxpayers adversely impacted by Trump’s 2017 tax cut bill
McConnell has said he will obstruct that too until after the Senate’s impeachment trial.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.