The WØRD – “Futility”

From the Chair

As the year comes to a close, the contrast between the Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic-majority state Legislature is stunning.

In Washington: futility. Republicans have produced the least productive legislative year since the Great Depression. Republicans took control of the House in 2023. Over the year they’ve managed to enact a paltry 23 laws. The all-time record for doing next-to-nothing was set in 1931, during the Herbert Hoover administration, when only 22 were enacted. 

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says it best in her latest weekly report to her constituents: “We have become a Congress of too much gotcha, and not enough let’s solve these problems.”

Their big accomplishment: they did manage to elect and then fire a Speaker of the House only to elect an even more extreme radical to replace him. Representative Dingell was right about the “gotcha” – they have held more than a few committee hearings to create sound bites for Fox News but which produced nothing.

What’s missing from the 2023 record of the Republican House?

They didn’t:

  • produce anything to cut costs for families
  • promote jobs creation
  • protect the planet from climate change
  • protect voting rights
  • reduce crime rates
  • pass critically needed funding for Ukraine’s war with Russia, or
  • pass funding for increased border security

They couldn’t even manage to pass a full-year budget for the government … just a 60-day kick-the-can down the road continuing resolution.

In Lansing things have been completely different. Democrats gained the majority in 2023 and set records for legislative successes including new laws on gun safety, worker rights, green energy, reproductive medical freedom for women, improving K-12 and higher education, protecting your right to vote and to have your vote accurately counted.

Republicans bring futility. Democrats bring results.
Keep that in mind as we campaign in 2024.

I also want to address two of the latest GOP outrages: the shameful treatment of Kate Cox in Texas, and the ridiculous Trump-ordered impeachment vote in the House.

You’ve probably heard about Ms. Cox. She and her husband were eagerly looking forward to the birth of their third child when they got the horrible news that the fetus has a fatal genetic defect that guaranteed her baby would die a painful death within days of birth, and that she could lose her ability to have another child … and might even die. Thanks to a draconian abortion ban law passed by Texas Republicans, backed up by the state’s corrupt Republican Attorney General and the all-Republican state Supreme Court, she was denied an abortion that doctors unanimously agreed was vital to protect her life and to avoid needless suffering for her baby. It was inhumane and outrageous. Ms. Cox was fortunate enough to have the ability to travel out-of-state to get medical help. Untold thousands of women in states like Texas and Florida won’t have that option.

“Kangaroo Court” by Pete McDonnell

House Republicans launched an impeachment investigation into President Biden this last week with no proof of “high crimes and misdemeanors” — a fishing expedition ordered by Donald Trump that is retribution for the two impeachments of Trump.

Imagine that you get a notice from your county prosecutor saying you are being investigated by a grand jury on a hunch that you might have committed a crime: “we think there might be something there. We don’t know what it is, but we’re going to look anyway.”

That’s exactly what is being done to President Biden. It’s a brazen, unconscionable effort to destroy the reputation of a man known for his integrity … all because their likely presidential candidate is charged with 91 felonies and has demanded that his MAGA puppets slime Joe Biden with baseless insinuations amplified by their right-wing media patrons. It’s a repeat of McCarthyism, but this time with the backing of an entire political party.

Sen. Sam Singh
Rep. Abraham Aiyash

Joining the podcast this week are the Majority Floor Leaders of the state Senate and state House: Senator Sam Singh and Representative Abraham Aiyash. They are the “traffic cops” for legislation, guiding bills on the floor of each chamber in consultation with the rest of the leadership team. Among the many victories the two of them help orchestrate: significant climate change legislation.

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