So what did the new Republican-controlled Congress decide was their first order of business this week?
On their very first day, they decided that the most important thing to do was attack Social Security. But they did it in a sneaky and underhanded way. The House passed a new rule that, as the LA Times puts it, “will seriously undermine efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent.”
Or as Senator Elizabeth Warren points out, the Republicans are “inventing a Social Security crisis.” You see, the Republicans figured out that they can’t eliminate the social safety net directly – that would be too unpopular. So instead they pass rules that will make it insolvent, so they can step in and “save” it (by eliminating it and replacing it with some kind of voucher program).
But that wasn’t the only thing. They introduced a bill to restrict abortions. Also on the very first day they were in session.
That was just the House. Over in the Senate, Mitch McConnell tried to rewrite history in an almost comical manner. On the Senate floor, McConnell said:
After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope. The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: The expectation of a new Republican Congress.
That’s right. The Republican gains in Congress scared the economy into improving! And not only that, it happened retroactively! That is some powerful juju. And no wonder the economy is scared — the only thing the Republicans have done for the economy lately is cause a government shutdown (because Obama refused to dismantle Obamacare), which caused all kinds of job losses and cost us $24 billion.
And just where do you suppose the bad economy came from in the first place? Is the GOP going to find some way to blame that on Obama too?