Oct. 4, 2014 NW IA Review Letter, “Republicans Are Out of Touch”

 

Letter to the Editor:  “Republicans Are Out of Touch”

 

Some political pundits are predicting a win for Republicans in both the U.S. House and Senate this year.  I don’t understand that, when many views of Republicans in Congress are out of touch with both Democrats and Republicans.  For example, most Americans support immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship, as long as there are a number of conditions attached, such as payment of back taxes, learning English and a waiting period.  A CNN poll found 81% of people favored such an approach.  The Democratic-controlled Senate passed such a bill, but the Republican-controlled House refuses to consider it.  Why don’t the Republicans in Congress follow through on what 81% of the people want?

 

Another example is raising the minimum wage:  A CNN Money poll (June 2014) indicated that 71% of Americans favor raising the minimum wage, which includes 90% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans.  Iowa’s Democratic Senator, Tom Harkin, introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour in 3 annual $.95 increments.  The Democrat who wishes to succeed him, Bruce Braley, will continue that effort.  But both Joni Ernst, Republican candidate for the Senate, and Cong. Steve King (R) oppose raising the federal minimum wage.  If you want the minimum wage raised, why vote for Ernst and King?

 

A huge majority (86% of those interviewed) in an April 2013 Washington Post/ABC poll, favored requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online.  Yet the NRA has developed powerful Republican allies in Congress who refuse to vote for any gun safety measures.  Many think that we already have universal background checks, but that is not the case.  Joni Ernst thinks that she can win votes in the fall election by opposing any restrictions on guns.  What type of hunting requires assault weapons or high capacity clips?  Closing the gun show loophole, banning high capacity clips and reinstating the assault weapons ban (which expired in 2004) are all very popular and do not violate the Second Amendment, despite what Joni Ernst and the NRA say.

 

Finally, protecting Social Security and Medicare are very popular approaches among members of both parties.  However, Republican leaders in Congress continue to talk about cutting these programs or privatizing them.  Democrats are better at protecting these two programs.  Both Bruce Braley and Jim Mowrer (running for the 4th District Congressional seat) include strengthening Social Security as one of their chief issues.

 

Rita Mae Brown once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  If we keep electing Republican majorities to Congress, how can we expect to pass immigration reform, raise the minimum wage, pass sensible gun safety legislation, protect Social Security and Medicare, and pass a budget on time?   Is that what we really want in the next Congress—even more gridlock and very little legislation getting approved?  There is a choice.  Vote for the party that will advance your positions on issues.  Vote Democratic in 2014.

 

Ruth Kocisko

Sioux Center

 

[Published in the 10/4/14 Northwest Iowa Review.]