GOP takes Senate to the woodshed over legislative ‘cord wood’

For the last several weeks, the Republican message has been focused on the “forgotten 15” — the nickname for various House-approved bills that would ease federal regulations and are awaiting Senate action. Republicans seem to have developed the “cord wood” metaphor in September, but took it fully on board in October.

“Mr. President, jobs have been job number one for House Republicans since the beginning of this year,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said October 13 in response to President Obama’s call for Republican jobs bills. “In fact, major portions of the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators have been stacking up like cord wood on Senator Harry Reid’s doorstep for months.”

Obama’s criticism that Republicans have done nothing to help the unemployment situation is the clear impetus for the oft-repeated phrase, and has prompted the GOP to point out that Senate Democrats have failed to even look at the forgotten 15.

Just over the weekend, David Axelrod, an Obama campaign adviser, repeated that the GOP hasn’t offered productive ideas to move forward. “What we shouldn’t do is go back to doing what we have heard from these Republican candidates, from the Congress, let’s just deregulate Wall Street, let them go back to writing their own rules, let’s cut taxes for the… very top. It is the same strategy that has failed this country and they want to go back to it,” Axelrod said.

While Republicans are pining for Democrats to move ahead with these bills, Senate Democrats instead going against the grain and pushing for discreet pieces of Obama’s jobs plan.

On Wednesday, for example, the Senate will take up a bill to create $50 billion in new infrastructure spending, and pay for it with a tax of an additional 0.7 percent on every dollar people earn over $1 million.

Senate Democrats have so far had less success in passing their proposals, which several times have lumbered through the upper chamber and many times have stalled. In the meantime, the House will take up four more deregulation bills this week, mostly focused on the SEC, which may end up like so much cord wood.

“House Republicans have passed jobs bill after jobs bill — they’re stacked up like cordwood on the Senate floor — but Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to consider them,” Rep. Bill Johhson (R-Ohio) said in late October. “The American people deserve better.”

Tags Harry Reid

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