We’ve seen, and I’ve blogged about, many of the things that Trump has be doing that have dominated the headlines. But Trump is the President – he’s not “King Donald”. There are other branches of government and, until recently, coverage of the “other” Republicans has almost been like an afterthought.
So what have the Republicans been up to lately? Sure, now we’re seeing them getting roasted at Town Hall meetings. An angry mob always makes a new producer’s face light up because it usually means ratings.. But what else has been happening? This will be, by no means, an exhaustive list. Just some of the things that I’ve noticed recently.
- Trump campaigned that he was going to spend a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements. His minion, newly-appointed Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on Caltrain’s plan to electrify a San Francisco Bay Area corridor so as to replace diesel trains with cheaper, faster, cleaner electric ones. Suddenly, Ms. Chao decided that an audit was needed – despite the years of studies done. Work has to get started by March 1st or certain contracts expire and would have to be re-bid (at a presumably higher cost). I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Ms. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It’s well known that he loves highway spending but his record on rail or public transportation? Republicans have never been keen on those forms of transportation.
- House Republicans plan to cut funding to Planned Parenthood – and not just for abortions.
- Paul Ryan says “you’ll be free to buy what you want” without Obamacare when the Republicans repeal it. But the plan seems to be to kick people off, replace subsidies with tax credits (which skew their effect to those with higher incomes) and then give tax relief to Big Pharma while charging seniors more.
- Jeff Essmann, the chair of the Montana GOP, admitted he wants voter suppression. He opposes a bill to allow mail-in ballots in the forthcoming election to fill the vacant seat of Rep Ryan Zinke, who was tapped by President Trump to head the Interior Department. Actual quote from Essman: “They may be well intended, but this bill could be death of our effort to make Montana a reliably Republican state”.
- Republicans also passed a bill allowing the selloff of public lands without considering the cost.
- Paul Ryan started gearing up to push for building Trump’s wall, which is now going to be paid for by American taxpayers ($95-120 per head) , while a 7-year-old kid begged Republicans to leave PBS Kids alone.
- 18 states that are seeing anti-Trump protests are now introducing legislation to suppress protesting. Most of these are Unconstitutional at even a glance so this is yet another waste of taxpayer money.
It’s not just Trump – though he’s at the forefront of all this.