December 15, 2015

A Republican Agenda That Challenges the President

  • Under Republican leadership, the Senate is back to work for the American people.

  • The Republican-led Senate has challenged the president – voted on more amendments, reported more bills out of committee, and approved more conference reports.

  • From the highway bill to education reform to health care reform, Senate Republicans have addressed issues that affect Americans the most.

The record is clear: after years of a do-nothing Senate under Democrat control, Republicans have put the Senate back to work and racked up accomplishments for the American people.

Back to Work

Democrat leader Harry Reid ran the Senate as a one-man show, squelching any activity but his own. Republican leadership has brought the Senate back to life, with more amendment votes, more bills coming out of committee, and more conference reports.

“Over the past year, Americans have seen committees up and running again. Americans have seen bills passed again. Americans have seen meaningful, bipartisan bills being signed into law again.” – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 11/20/2015

The Senate chamber is busy, with Senators once again able to amend legislation on the floor. There have been nearly 13 times as many amendment votes this year as in 2014. Democrats have gotten more than nine times as many votes on their amendments under Republican leadership as they did under their own control.


Committees are up and running again as well. This year the Appropriations Committee passed all 12 appropriations bills for the first time in six years. Committees have reported more Senate bills this year than during the same period of the last three Congresses.


These include major pieces of legislation affecting American families and our economy.


The Republican Senate has also resurrected conference committees, a key indicator of a well-functioning Congress. The 113th Congress enacted just three conference reports over two years. The Republican-led Senate has already enacted four conference reports, with more to come.

Real Bipartisan Accomplishments

As a result of these changes, the Senate has racked up substantial achievements on major issues.

  • Enacted a permanent “doc fix” – after 17 temporary patches since 2002 – to prevent huge payment cuts to doctors and to improve quality and value for Medicare patients.
  • Increased resources and protections for the victims of modern slavery by enacting the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act – with a 99-0 vote in the Senate.
  • Enacted the longest reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund in almost two decades.
  • Stopped the Social Security Disability Trust Fund from going insolvent next year.
  • Enacted the first significant reform to Social Security since 1983, with $168 billion in long-term savings.
  • Ended the federal test-based education policies of No Child Left Behind by making states accountable.
  • Enacted trade promotion authority for first time since 2002.
  • Passed the first budget resolution with the House since 2009, and the first balanced budget since 2001.
  • Passed bipartisan legislation to help protect Americans from cyberattacks, after the same legislation lingered for years under Democrat leader Reid.

Challenging the President’s Agenda

The Senate has also challenged President Obama’s most misguided and dangerous policies.

  • Passed legislation repealing Obamacare, giving the president another chance to ease Americans’ pain under this law.
  • Passed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline to create jobs, energy security, and economic growth for average Americans.
  • Passed legislation blocking restrictions on power plants and “waters of the U.S.” that would vastly expand Washington’s power over American families and businesses.
  • Prevented the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and required a strategy for Syria through enactment of a defense authorization bill.
  • Enacted the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that provided oversight of the president’s bad deal with Iran.

Bringing Americans Health Care Relief

The Republican-led Congress strengthened Medicare and provided relief and protection for some of the country’s most vulnerable people. The Senate also acted to remove burdensome federal health care regulations.

  • Extended funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program through fiscal year 2017.
  • Increased means testing in Medicare Part B and Part D for high-income seniors to help strengthen the program.
  • Freed small businesses from burdensome new Washington-mandated health insurance requirements.
  • Prevented a dramatic increase to Medicare Part B premiums in 2016.
  • Improved the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders among pregnant women and care for newborns exposed during pregnancy, with the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015.
  • Streamlined DEA regulation of new drugs, so patients can get safe and effective drugs more quickly, with the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act.

Over the past year, the Republican Senate has proven to the American people that under the right leadership, Congress can get to work and get big things done. The record of success is clear.

Issue Tag: Senate