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Murray: “I come to the floor once again with a simple message for Senate Republican leaders: do your job”
 
“This is just the latest example of Republican leaders playing political games with the rights of women across the country—and pandering to their extreme Tea Party base.”
 

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor to call on Republicans to stop pandering to their extreme Tea Party base and work with President Obama and Senate Democrats to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility and help fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Murray went to the Senate floor following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that Republicans called to discuss bills attacking women’s reproductive care. In her speech, she called on Republicans to stop trying to undermine women’s health care and Constitutional rights, and reiterated her call for Republicans to do their job and listen to what people across the country are demanding.

 

“Republicans love to say they want to keep government out of people’s lives—unless we’re talking about women’s health care and choices,” said Senator Murray. “They love to talk about the Constitution—unless we’re talking about a woman’s constitutional right to make decisions about her own body—or the part that lays out the Senate’s responsibilities when it comes to filling Supreme Court vacancies.”

 

Three weeks ago, Senator Murray called on Republicans on the Senate floor to put constitution and country above partisanship and obstruction and consider a Supreme Court nominee as the constitution requires.

 

Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“I come to the floor once again with a simple message for Senate Republican leaders: do your job. And let me do mine. When President Obama sends us a nominee to fill this vacancy on the Supreme Court, Republican leaders need to stop playing politics, stop pandering to the Tea Party—and fulfill their responsibility to their constituents, their country, and the Constitution.” 

 

“…while the Republicans on that Committee say they won’t take the time to do their most important actual job, they were happy to spend their time this morning on their favorite hobby: doing everything they can to turn back the clock on women’s health care.  And while they say they won’t even hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee to fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities—they were eager to hold a hearing to attack women’s constitutional rights.”

 

“…this is just the latest example of Republican leaders playing political games with the rights of women across the country—and pandering to their extreme Tea Party base.”

 

“Republicans love to say they want to keep government out of people’s lives—unless we’re talking about women’s health care and choices. They love to talk about the Constitution—unless we’re talking about a woman’s constitutional right to make decisions about her own body—or the part that lays out the Senate’s responsibilities when it comes to filling Supreme Court vacancies.”

 

“…one Republican leader warned that any potential nominee should beware—he or she will be treated like a “piñata.”  Republicans say they will refuse to even meet with a nominee—but they and their special interest groups are clearly getting ready to drag him or her through the mud.”

 

“…if Republicans are open to new election year precedents—I have one I’d like to offer for their consideration that would actually be helpful. I propose that Republicans stop using attacks on women’s health care to rally their Tea Party base. That they stop using women’s rights as an election year political football. That would be unprecedented for sure—but it would be a step in the right direction—and women across the country would certainly appreciate it.”

 

Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared:

 

“M. President, I come to the floor once again with a simple message for Senate Republican leaders: do your job. And let me do mine. When President Obama sends us a nominee to fill this vacancy on the Supreme Court, Republican leaders need to stop playing politics, stop pandering to the Tea Party—and fulfill their responsibility to their constituents, their country, and the Constitution. 

 

“That is what people across the country are demanding—but the hearing Republicans on the Judiciary Committee held this morning makes it clear they aren’t getting the message.

 

“Because while the Republicans on that Committee say they won’t take the time to do their most important actual job, they were happy to spend their time this morning on their favorite hobby: doing everything they can to turn back the clock on women’s health care. And while they say they won’t even hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee to fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities—they were eager to hold a hearing to attack women’s constitutional rights.

 

“M. President—I wish I were surprised by this—but unfortunately, this is just the latest example of Republican leaders playing political games with the rights of women across the country—and pandering to their extreme Tea Party base.

 

“Republicans love to say they want to keep government out of people’s lives—unless we’re talking about women’s health care and choices. They love to talk about the Constitution—unless we’re talking about a woman’s constitutional right to make decisions about her own body—or the part that lays out the Senate’s responsibilities when it comes to filling Supreme Court vacancies.

 

“But M. President—people across the country are sick of the partisanship, sick of the gridlock, and sick of the games. They want Republicans to do their jobs—and they aren’t buying their excuses for inaction.

 

“For the last few weeks Republican leaders have been desperately trying to convince people that there is precedent for their extreme obstruction in an election year.

 

“Well first of all M. President, their arguments have run up against the facts—they are simply not true. The Democratic Senate confirmed President Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee in his last year in office—and that’s just one example of many. But in case the facts weren’t enough—last week the Republicans’ message façade began to crumble and the truth began to come out.

 

“First, one Republican leader warned that any potential nominee should beware—he or she will be treated like, a “piñata.” Republicans say they will refuse to even meet with a nominee—but they and their special interest groups are clearly getting ready to drag him or her through the mud.

 

“Also, speaking to his constituents back home, another Senator made it clear that Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs right now is nothing more than partisan politics. He said that if this President were a Republican, it would be “a different situation” and there would be “more accommodation.”

 

“M. President—we all knew this Republican obstruction had nothing to do with what was actually right—and everything to do with the fact that they don’t like that President Obama is President right now—but it was nice to hear a Republican Senator admit that out loud. And this wasn’t all.

 

“Another Republican, the Senior Senator from South Carolina, admitted last week that this kind of blind obstruction—this refusal to even meet with a Supreme Court nominee or hold hearings—is absolutely unprecedented. He said Republicans wanted to create a new rule—right now—limiting President Obama’s constitutional authority and responsibility.

 

“Well, I am glad he made it clear that what Republican leaders have been saying about their obstruction being based on precedent isn’t true…but creating this new partisan precedent for Supreme Court nominations would be absolutely wrong too.

 

“Republicans may not like to hear this—but the American people have spoken—they elected President Obama twice, and they entrusted him with the powers and responsibilities laid out in our Constitution. Those responsibilities don’t just last for three years—they last a full term. And people across the country are making it very clear that they expect Republicans to work with the President, meet with a nominee, hold hearings, and do their job.

 

“But M. President, if Republicans are open to new election year precedents—I have one I’d like to offer for their consideration that would actually be helpful.

 

“I propose that Republicans stop using attacks on women’s health care to rally their Tea Party base. That they stop using women’s rights as an election year political football. That would be unprecedented for sure—but it would be a step in the right direction—and women across the country would certainly appreciate it.

 

“So M. President—when President Obama sends us a nominee, I hope Senate Republican leaders will move off of the partisan course they are on now. I hope they will stop focusing on throwing red meat to the Tea Party. And I hope they will do their jobs.

 

“Thank you M. President—I yield the floor.”