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Republicans, we're confused

By Debbie Wasserman Schultz
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Sat August 2, 2014
Members of Congress will take a five-week recess this summer.
Members of Congress will take a five-week recess this summer.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz is puzzled by Republicans in Congress who can't get anything done
  • Congress is taking its five-week summer recess
  • Why is Congress wasting time suing the President instead of solving problems, she wonders

Editor's note: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- The last few days have perfectly encapsulated the House of Representatives under Republican leadership.

On Wednesday, House Republicans took the unprecedented action of voting to sue the President for doing his job and taking action to stand up for the American people. Then on Thursday, after Republican leadership failed to bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote, the GOP House leadership wrote: "There are numerous steps the President can and should be taking right now, without need for congressional action. ..."

Baffled? So am I!

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Sue the President for doing his job one day; ask him to do their job for them the next. The hypocrisy is difficult to fathom.

But somehow, it gets worse.

Their struggle to get a bill to the floor and failure to pass legislation that adequately addresses the crisis at the border wouldn't be unusual for this do-nothing Congress, except that we are coming up on the August recess, when members will leave Washington behind and return to work in their districts.

While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are home, I doubt they'll find their constituents very happy that Congress spent one of our last few days in session voting to use their taxpayer dollars to sue the President. Nor will they be impressed that we stayed in town an extra night so we could vote on a bill that would weaken the due process for children.

Voters are tired of the Republican obsession with obstruction. They are fed up with the more than 50 votes to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act, and they don't appreciate that Republicans shut down the government over it, too. They don't want Congress to waste more time and taxpayer money holding redundant hearings on Benghazi.

But that's all the Republican House is offering them.

Obama: Congress holding up progress
DNC Chair: GOP is 'grasping at straws'
House GOP cancels immigration bill vote

Democrats have an agenda that is actually in line with the priorities of America's families. We have a plan that will jump start the middle class and strengthen economic security for all Americans.

I know our members will hear from workers who agree with Democrats that we need to create jobs that pay good wages and extend opportunities to join the middle class. No one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty. We've seen in states across the country that increasing the minimum wage boosts the economy and creates jobs by putting more money in workers' pockets to spend. That's why Democrats will fight for an increase.

With more women acting as their family's primary breadwinner -- about 40% in households with children -- there's also public support for Republicans to join Democrats in passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Equal pay isn't just a woman's issue; it's an economic issue.

There are many issues Congress could address that would actually help America's middle-class families: making greater investments in education, easing the burden of student loan debt, and taking action to hold off the looming threat of climate change.

And on one of our nation's most pressing issues, immigration reform, the GOP's insistence on adhering to rigid ideology, as well as putting their partisan stunts over real action that would help our country, is alarmingly apparent.

If House Republicans were serious about addressing immigration reform, they could let us vote on the bipartisan Senate bill or fund President Obama's border request. Instead, they have been fumbling with legislation that would hurt the immigrant community and make progress on actual reform more difficult.

This August, when I'm home in my district, I know I'll be asked why Congress is wasting time and money suing the President instead of finding solutions to the pressing issues that our nation faces. The only answer I can give them is that Republican leadership in the House cares more about scoring political points against the President than they do about helping America's middle-class families.

It's not an answer I'm proud of, and I don't think voters will be happy with it either. But come November, Americans will have a chance to choose leaders who are looking out for them and focused on finding real solutions to real problems by casting their ballots for Democrats.

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