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Senate Republicans’ refusal to give nominee Merrick Garland fair hearings and an up-or-down vote will have cost American taxpayers nearly $87 million by Tax Day.
A major digital campaign launched today by MoveOn.org Civic Action, Organizing for Action (OFA), and Americans United for Change (AUFC), along with other leading national grassroots organizations, shows that Senate Republicans will have squandered nearly $87 million in taxpayer dollars by Tax Day by refusing to uphold their constitutional obligation to give fair consideration to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland.
The #WeWantARefund campaign includes a satirical website, WeWantARefund.com, which allows constituents of Republican senators to see wasted taxpayer dollars by state and encourages constituents to take action and ask their Republican senators for a refund via social media channels.
Additionally, grassroots events will take place in key states from Friday to Monday, in which invoices will be hand-delivered to offices of Senate Republicans for the amount of state taxpayer money that they have wasted while refusing to do the job they are paid to do.
The website includes a state-by-state breakdown that shows Senate Republicans have taken …
… $623,739.81 from Iowa taxpayers. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has led fellow Republicans including Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst in standing in the way of Garland’s nomination.
… $7,011,514.12 from Texas taxpayers. Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have joined the partisan obstruction of Garland’s nomination.
… $3,178,041.56 from Pennsylvania taxpayers. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey has joined the partisan obstruction of Garland’s nomination.
… $671,273.86 from Kentucky taxpayers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted that the Senate won’t hold hearings or a vote for Garland, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has joined in the obstruction.
Between February 13 — when Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said, hours after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, that he wouldn’t consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee — and Tax Day, American taxpayers will have paid approximately $86,644,090 for Senate Republicans, their staff, and their offices. That’s $1,332,986 every single day as Senate Republicans refuse to hold hearings for Garland.
“Think of our federal taxes as the dues we pay for our democracy,” said MoveOn.org campaign director Jo Comerford. “As constituents, we send lawmakers to Washington, D.C., to work for our best interests. And in return, our federal taxes pay for their salaries, staff, and offices. But by putting brazen partisan politics ahead of their constituents’ interests, Senate Republicans have violated this precious social contract and have disrespected the proud contributions of American taxpayers. So we want a refund.”
An email to MoveOn members announcing the effort reads in part:
For weeks, MoveOn members and our allies have taken to the streets in our home states and in Washington, D.C. We’ve made thousands of calls to Congress to demand that the current Supreme Court vacancy be filled. We’ve made videos, gathered on a national strategy call with Senator Elizabeth Warren, and have even funded #DoYourJob planes to fly above the district offices of key Republican senators.
We’ve rallied to defend the Constitution because we know that the GOP’s unprecedented obstruction exacts a steep social and political price that threatens our democracy.
But here’s the thing: We’re also paying an economic price for Senate Republican inaction—through our federal taxes. Americans are wasting millions of federal dollars on Senate Republicans who—time and time again—refuse to do their jobs. That’s why, between now and Tax Day (April 18), we’re turning up the heat to make sure that Senate Republicans and the national media know that hard-working American taxpayers are fed up with Republicans who don’t do their jobs but still expect a paycheck.
The methodology and notes for the campaign are available at: http://www.wewantarefund.com/notes-and-sources/