The Top 5 Worst GOP Bills: A Closer Look at Troubling Legislation

Elections & Politics Policy Brief #125 | By: William Bourque | February 23, 2024
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In our world of American politics, GOP-sponsored bills often stir up controversy and debate. Some proposals, however, stand out for all the wrong reasons. From healthcare to taxes, environment to social programs, these bills have sparked concern and criticism across the political spectrum.

In this brief, we’re diving into the top five GOP bills that have raised eyebrows and ignited fierce opposition. We’ll explore what they sought to do and the motivations behind them. As we navigate through these bills, it’s crucial to understand the broader political landscape and the tensions driving these debates. While some see these proposals as solutions, many of these bills are foolish and short-sighted. This past year of Congressional proceedings have been nothing short of shocking – with House GOP members getting into physical altercations, screaming matches, and beefing on X (still Twitter in my book). Without further ado, the 5 worst GOP bills of this past year.

  • 1. House Resolution 582: A resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas for High Crimes and Misdemeanors

The initial vote on this legislation, which was eventually blocked by Rep. Mike Gallagher, failed in embarrassing fashion for Speaker Mike Johnson. Mayorkas is the first cabinet secretary to be impeached since the 1870’s, when Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached. The motion eventually passed, which sets up a trial in the Senate. Policy differences aren’t impeachable offenses, and Mayorkas is primed to be acquitted by a Democratic-controlled Senate. The GOP is wasting taxpayer money and valuable time where they could be legislating.

  • 2. House Resolution 1: Lower Energy Costs Act

This legislation looked to rollback a significant amount of Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which provided tax credits for renewable energy development in addition to uplifting marginalized communities. The “Lower Energy Costs Act” creates incentives for fossil fuel development including a moratorium on a fracking ban. Not only is this legislation a step entirely backwards, it had no chance of passing the Senate, making it a glorious waste of time for all involved.  Sure, it made for good headlines, but it (thankfully) made no substantive change or even came close to becoming law. Another messaging bill for the ever-more-pathetic GOP.

  • 3. Biden Border Bill

One of the more egregious Republican moves from the past year is the recent rejection of a deal with President Biden which would have given significant money to border patrol in hopes of stemming the flow of migrants at the Southern border. Realistically, this was the best deal that the GOP could have hoped for. However, President Trump has come out against this bill several times – causing the GOP to turn their backs on the deal brokered by President Biden and GOP leadership. Since then, each and every member of GOP leadership has come out against the bill – making it incredibly obvious that they intend to use the border as a campaign talking point.

  • 4. Cutting Foreign Aid (Ukraine et al)

Another policy position that the GOP has leaned into the past year is cutting foreign aid, namely to allies like Ukraine and Israel. While Israel has had many accusations of wrongdoing come up at the UN and within international circles, Ukraine is still universally supported in their fight against Russia…except in the Republican party. The fight against Russia is one of the most vital in the world especially given Putin’s additional consolidation of power. It’s notable that many Democrats have also called for an end to aid for Israel – although for different reasons than Republicans. Republicans seem to be using each and every discussion regarding aid as a campaign chip, hoping they can prop up former President Trump to another unlikely victory.

  • 5. Various Censure Votes on Jamaal Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, and Adam Schiff

Yet another waste of time from the House of Representatives, censure votes. The most ridiculous of these three was against Adam Schiff, who made many comments relating to former President Trump and Russia (which are all probably true). House Republicans felt offended that Schiff would bring up this association and felt it was grounds for censure. Schiff wore it as a badge of honor and it seems to be helping him in the race for Senate in CA, where he leads in all polls. The next censure motion was against Rashida Tlaib, who made comments defending Palestine. For what it’s worth, Tlaib is a Palestinian-American and clearly felt like nobody in Congress was defending her people or her homeland – but the vote including both Democrats and Republicans makes this one feel slightly less egregious. There have been several GOP lawmakers who have made statements in opposition to Israel and they haven’t been censured…The last censure was against Jamaal Bowman, who accidentally pulled a fire alarm in the Capitol building that ended up delaying a vote. Bowman claims that it was accidental, and by all accounts, video footage doesn’t make it seem pre-meditated. Either way, censure does absolutely nothing and is only used as a political weapon, so it was another waste of time to go about this.

In a year marked by intense partisan clashes and headline-grabbing controversies, the three worst GOP bills of recent memory have epitomized political theater at its most wasteful. From futile attempts to impeach cabinet members to misguided efforts to roll back progressive policies, these bills have not only squandered valuable legislative time but also highlighted the stark divisions within Congress. As lawmakers engage in futile gestures and symbolic condemnations, the real issues facing the American people remain unaddressed. We don’t expect anything different from the GOP this year, and our election predictions will show that the GOP won’t be the majority in the House for much longer.

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