WASHINGTON - Democrats in Washington have been pushing their agenda through Congress at a feverish pace and now Republicans are accusing them of squelching any debate.
Some GOP lawmakers have said Democrats have changed the rules of the game and Republicans are not the only group losing out on issues like the stimulus spending bill to the current debate on health care.
"The American people expect us to deliver, and we will," Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-M.D., said.
With control of the Oval office, and solid majorities in the House and the Senate, Democrats have shown they can create and approve legislation at seemingly warp speed.
But according to Republicans, part of their efficiency comes at the expense of the minority.
"They have stopped debate," Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said. "They've stopped the ability to put in amendments. They've changed rules. They've promised that you were at least going to have time to read the bills. We get the bills at sometimes three o'clock in the morning and are voting on them the next day."
Republicans said their voices and ideas are being squelched to keep things moving and cut down on long, drawn out debates which are often initiated by potentially volatile amendments on controversial issues like gun control, gay marriage and abortion.
The new policy on restricting floor debates has even affected some Democrats.
A 16-year veteran and pro-life Democrat from Michigan has accused party leaders of muzzling the voices of pro-life members when he and others did not get to vote to reinstate Congress's ban on the use of taxpayer money to fund abortions in Washington, D.C.
Critics said the practice is being employed on major issues like healthcare.
"Let's be honest about it," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said. "One of the big problems is that we really haven't been invited very strongly into either bill in the House or the Senate. And there hasn't been a real interchange with Republicans on this issue."
Hatch said he blames the president for pushing something so hard.
Democrats said they want bipartisan bills and the reason they are not a reality is -- there are no Republican answers.
"It's easy to say what you don't like about this bill," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said. "But it would be far more constructive if we had something to work on."
Congressional watch dogs warn that Democrats on Capitol Hill may be relinquishing too much control to the White House agenda.
"Much like Democrats complained that a Republican Congress was a rubber stamp for the Bush administration," Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation said. "It appears that the Democrats are falling into the same trap and this Congress is becoming a rubber stamp for the policies of the Obama administration."