WASHINGTON – The Senate's second-ranking Democrat said Saturday it's time for Republicans to stop stonewalling and engage in "compromise and cooperation" to get the nation's business done.
"Sadly, Republicans in Washington are determined to make this a 'no-can-do' Congress," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in the Democrats' weekly radio address.
Durbin said GOP lawmakers are acting as if it is to their party's benefit to block progress on issues that are important to the American people.
"They think the less a Democratic-led Congress achieves, the better it's going to be for Republicans in next year's elections," he said. "But those elections are 11 months away! And America needs help now."
Durbin, the Senate Democrats' vote-counter, argued that with bipartisan cooperation Congress could move to help some of the 47 million Americans in need of health insurance.
"Democrats are committed to overriding President Bush's veto and providing health care for 10 million American children — kids not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid and not lucky enough to have parents with health insurance," he said.
Durbin also called for a new national energy policy, a responsible conclusion to the war in Iraq and measures to help families facing mortgage foreclosures.
Although he blamed the GOP for stalling progress, he said Democrats still have been able to make a "good start" on some issues that they campaigned on in 2006 and that enabled them to regain control of the Senate.
Among the accomplishments he cited: lower taxes for working people, a higher minimum wage, tougher ethics laws and adoption of the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations