The National Republican Congressional Committee went full-throttle with anti-Jerry McNerney literature in recent days, issuing hit-piece press releases Thursday, Friday and Saturday against the freshman Democrat from Pleasanton.
On Thursday, the NRCC breathlessly reported how “McNerney and his Democrat colleagues” (and for the record, that would be 213 of his Democrat colleagues, including the entire Bay Area delegation, plus eight Republicans) had voted against a measure “to protect state marriage laws from being changed in a courtroom by trial lawyers.”
Ah, Republican red meat. Actually, the vote to which this news release referred was a motion to send H.R. 3685 — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007, to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation — back to committee. This was a last-minute, parliamentary tactic to try to kill the bill by adding language that would prevent courts from using ENDA to “modify, limit, restrict or in any way overturn any state or federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, including the use of this act as a legal predicate in litigation on the issue of marriage” — thus trying to bootstrap the controversial issue of same-sex marriage into a bill which has nothing to do with it. It’s also worth noting that the actual vote to pass ENDA, after the motion to recommit had failed, was 235-184, this time with 35 Republicans on board.
More on the NRCC’s Friday and Saturday hit pieces, after the jump…
On Friday, the NRCC took McNerney to task for voting for “a down payment on the ‘Mother of All Tax Hikes’ when he supported the Democrats’ package for $72 billion in tax increases. McNerney’s vote today is merely the first step toward burdening Americans with a massive $3.5 trillion job-killing tax hike that McNerney and his Democrat bosses in Congress hope to drop on America’s workers and families… When will McNerney’s commitment to raising taxes and killing jobs for America’s workers and families end?”
This release — chock full of statistics provided by the Heritage Foundation, the biggest conservative think tank in Washington — was actually a vote on H.R. 3996, a bill that among many other things seeks to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax, which according to the Washington Post “was designed to prevent the super-rich from using deductions, credits and other shelters to avoid paying the Internal Revenue Service. But because of rising incomes, the tax is expected to expand to more than 30 million taxpayers in 2010 from 3.8 million mostly well-off households in 2006.” The bill’s backers say it’ll provide immediate tax relief for working families by preventing 23 million middle-class families from paying higher taxes this April.
And the NRCC on Saturday issued a release claiming McNerney’s “unwillingness to get his work done has sunk to a new low. McNerney and his Democrat leadership in Washington left town without passing a vital veterans’ housing, health care and benefits bill — days before our nation honors the brave service of these national heroes on Veterans Day.”
But as the Associated Press (here, via CNN) notes, “Congress has never delivered to Bush a veterans affairs spending bill by Veterans Day, even when Capitol Hill was run by Republicans. And even veterans’ groups have been reluctant to criticize this year’s Congress for the delay, because they are thankful for large budget increases already engineered by Democrats since they assumed the majority in January. They added $3.4 billion to the veterans’ budget in February and $1.8 billion in May.”