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Senate Democrats Fail to Pass Their own Job’s Package

By March 31, 2015 No Comments

Senate Democrats Fail To Pass Their Own Job’s Package Called ‘Ready To Work’

Albuquerque, NM– During the legislative session, Senate Democrats touted a job’s package designed to help New Mexico’s economy. But just as with many bills, it fell victim to Senate’s own partisan gridlock and dysfunction. More specifically, Democrats used political tactics to kill two bills that would have increased the state’s minimum wage— denying New Mexicans a reasonable minimum wage increase.

“Senate Democrats’ dysfunction not only cost them their own jobs package, but dozens of other bills that would have put New Mexico’s families first. It makes people wonder: why are these longtime politicians still in charge?” said Pat Garrett, spokesman for the Republican Party of New Mexico.

Check out the story from the New Mexico Political Journal below on the Senate Jobs Package:

What Happened to the Senate Democrats’ “Job Package”?
New Mexico Political Journal
Monday, March 30, 2015
http://tinyurl.com/og5d6e8

On February 18, the Senate Democratic leadership called a gigantic press conference.  All the New Mexico media attended and reported.

The Albuquerque Journal blared:  “Senate Dems unveil Jobs Package”

Articles breathlessly touted the Democrats’ message: 

Democrats Propose “Ready-to-Work” package.

The package of bills would Create up to 73,000 New Jobs

The media printed Senator Michael Sanchez’s message about the Republicans’ proposals verbatim:

  “It’s a cheap political trick to try to divide the people of this great state.”

Bottom Line:  The Democrats press conference succeeded—they got the press to spin their message that they were working hard on economic development, had introduced 58 bills, and were serious about jobs and that the Republicans were just playing games.

But What Actually Happened?

There was no follow-up by the media. No actual analysis or reporting ever took place.  If it had, the people of New Mexico would know the following:

  • The Democrats passed exactly 9 of the 58 bills.
That’s correct.  It’s not a misprint. 

With total control of the entire Senate, with total control of every committee and every committee calendar, agenda and vote, the Senate Democrats passed 15% of their revolutionary and innovative “Jobs Package.”

49 of their 58 “critical measures” never got to the Senate floor.  15 were never even scheduled for a hearing.

Minimum Wage?

The Democrats’ number one goal, according to press reports, was to raise the minimum wage.  And the Democrats introduced no less than four separate bills to raise the minimum wage.  What happened to them? 

Nothing.

No vote on the floor. 

One vote in committee, on one of the bills, AND, get this—the Democrats voted to table it.
When asked why that happened, Senator Michael Sanchez said, “Well, we were afraid it might get hijacked.”

MEANING:  He was afraid he might actually have to compromise on something for the first time in his career as Senate Majority Leader. (Was he afraid of being held accountable?  Of course not.)

No Need for Actual Work or Compromise
After the big press conference—and the statewide blasting of headlines that said the Democrats have a Jobs Package (and the Republicans are “divisive”) there was no need to do anything.  Michael Sanchez knew there would be no scrutiny.  No follow-up. 
He was free to go back to doing nothing but obstructing.

What if the Republicans had announced an Agenda and Done Nothing?
Let’s say the Republicans called a big press conference and announced they were going to try to:

  • Pass Right-to-Work
  • Stop Social Promotion, and get third graders to read
  • End Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants
  • Pass Voter ID
  • Try to stop late-term abortions
And then none of those bills even passed the House—where they have a majority (albeit nowhere near as big a stranglehold as the Democrats have in the Senate)—what would the reaction be?

All talk, no action?

Big show, no follow-up?

All hat, no cattle?

It would be something fairly severe.  They would be held to account for a fake show, a phony “agenda.”

But all of those not only got hearings, and got passed in committee—they were passed on the floor.  (By the way, even if only one of those five issues had passed, it would have been 33% more than the Democrats did with their “Jobs Package.”  It would have been 20%, while the Democrats only bothered to pass 15% of their package.)

The Story of the 2015 Legislature

The story of the 2015 Legislature is that Senator Michael Sanchez and Representative Brian Egolf adopted a strategy of hunkering down, obstructing, and delaying everything that they could.

Meanwhile they repeatedly assured everyone that what they were seeing with a House Republican majority was “just a two-year experiment” and everything would “return to normal” after 2016. 

They knew they could take this approach, could do so successfully, and never be held accountable.

A review of their “jobs package” news conference, and actual actions taken, proves that they were correct.

Contact:
Pat Garrett
Communications Director
O: 505-298-3662
Pat@gopnm.org

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