Why the GOP Congress is a disgrace

Story highlights

  • Ben Lujan: Americans voted in a GOP Congress on promise of effective governance that prioritized middle class
  • He says that was an illusion. On DHS funding, other issues, GOP has prioritized catering to its extreme wing and special interests

Ben Lujan is the U.S. representative for New Mexico's 3rd District and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Last November, the American people placed a great amount of trust in Republicans when they gave them complete control of Congress. Voters bought the illusion that a Republican Congress would govern effectively, help the middle class and focus on important issues like jobs and the economy.

Now, after two months, that illusion has been shattered.
Ben Ray Lujan
Over the last two weeks, we have seen the Republican Congress manufacture, then escalate, a political crisis by threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security. There is no government task more basic than keeping citizens safe. And yet Republicans are recklessly putting our national security at risk to protect their own political security.
    By failing to do a full extension of DHS funding — holding it hostage with demands that the legislation roll back the President's immigration actions -- Republicans are leaving uncertain the livelihoods of more than 240,000 men and women who proudly serve as employees of the Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration and other DHS agencies.
    Feinstein: Compromise is not a dirty word
    Feinstein: Compromise is not a dirty word

      JUST WATCHED

      Feinstein: Compromise is not a dirty word

    MUST WATCH

    Feinstein: Compromise is not a dirty word 02:23
    Local law enforcement will continue to be denied access to the grants that help them keep our streets safe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies that respond to natural disasters, like major winter storms, would have their operations disrupted. All so Republicans can try to score a few cheap political points with their base.
    But while this shutdown crisis is scary, what is even scarier is that this dysfunctional governing style is becoming a pattern with the Republican Party. The Republican Congress seems more intent on bickering with itself, pushing an agenda to help special interests and catering to the most extreme wing of the party, than working for the middle class.
    These last two months have been a disgrace, a disservice to our country, and the American people won't soon forget what a reckless disaster Republicans in Congress have turned out to be.