Back in January, vulnerable Republican and key GOP leader Roy Blunt noted that the new Republican majority had “about six months” before Americans decided whether they were “a governing party rather than a complaining party.”
For today’s flashback, let’s check back in on some of their greatest hits over the past six months and see where they stand:
- In February, Republicans prioritized political games over national security and responsible governing as they drove the Department of Homeland Security to the brink of a shutdown.
- In March, the Republican Senate majority spent weeks playing politics with survivors of human trafficking by sneaking an anti-abortion provision in to the anti-human trafficking bill.
- 47 Republican Senators signed a reckless letter to Iran that undermined key national security negotiations. John McCain later admitted that the letter was signed in a rush to leave town before a snowstorm.
- By April, Republicans had proven themselves to be masters of obstruction. Despite broad bipartisan support, the GOP majority took 166 days to confirm Attorney General Loretta Lynch even though they had the votes to confirm long before.
- Just this month, the Republican-controlled Senate puttered away with no plan while letting a national security law lapse.
The Republican Senate dysfunction over their first few months in the majority was so great that it actually retired one of their own senators. In early March, Indiana Senator Dan Coats told Politico that he would retire if the GOP was not “able to govern.” Just three weeks later, Coats announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection in 2016. Ouch.
And don’t just take it from us. After nearly six months of dysfunction, national political reporters have chronicled Republicans’ struggles to govern responsibly. Here are a few highlights:
New York Times: NSA and Other Matters Leave McConnell’s Senate in Disarray
“But as senators raced for the airport on Saturday after a six-week session that ended in disarray, they left behind a wreck of promises made by Mr. McConnell on how a renewed Senate would operate.”
“…serious questions internally about whether their newfound majority can deliver anything significant over the next two years.”
“Barely two months into the GOP majority, the pessimism is palpable, particularly among the Republican rank and file.”
New York Times: GOP Is Divided as Budget Bills Start Piling Up
“In their first major test of governing this year, Republicans stumbled, faltered — and nearly shut down the Department of Homeland Security. And that vote may have been the easy one.”
Huffington Post: For GOP, First 100 Days Have Been A Learning Process
“Republicans have had a harder time than they anticipated proving they’re ready to govern.”
“The ups and downs of the past few months have led even the reliably conservative Wall Street Journal to write a scathing review of the new GOP-controlled Congress.”
“After nearly six months, the Republican Senate has proven time and time again that they’re willing to put needless obstructionism ahead of everything else,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Their first few months in the majority have been one shameful display of political theater after another, and with a record like this, they’re working harder than anybody to make sure Democrats regain the majority in 2016.”