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  #1  
Old 05-02-2012, 04:30 PM
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Our do-almost-nothing Congress

Because everyone seems to want to blame Obama for barely anything getting done, I think it's relevant to point out that our government is a bit more than just the President.

How about Congress?

Our do-almost-nothing Congress

Quote:
If you were to stroll by the House chamber today — or tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that — you would arrive at the ideal time to see what the lawmakers do best: absolutely nothing.

It’s another recess week for our lazy leaders. Oh, sorry: “Constituent Work Week” is what they’re calling it these days, as if lawmakers were filling potholes and making calls to Social Security rather than raising campaign cash.

By the time the Republican-led House returns next week, members will have been working in Washington on just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012 — and that was the busy part of the year. They are planning to be on vacation — er, doing “constituent work” — 17 of the year’s remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town the typical workweek is three days.

Good work if you can get it — but the behavior is doing quite a job on the rest of us. On those infrequent occasions the House is in session, the Senate, also enamored of recess, often isn’t, which helps explain why the two chambers can’t agree on much of anything.

To call this 112th Congress a do-nothing Congress would be an insult — to the real Do-Nothing Congress of 1947-48. That Congress passed 908 laws. To date, this one has passed 106 public laws. Even if they triple that output in the rest of 2012 — not a terribly likely proposition — they will still be in last place going back at least 40 years.

Doing nothing would arguably be preferable to what the House is actually doing. Lawmakers have staged 195 roll-call votes so far this year, which sounds like a lot until you realize that boils down to only about 60 pieces of legislation, including post-office namings. Among the 60:

●The Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act.

●The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.

●Legislation requiring the Treasury to mint coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.

●The World War II Memorial Prayer Act.

The Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act.

The few pieces of important legislation of this Congress, such as the payroll-tax break and the debt-limit increase, have been passed by the Republican majority under pressure and duress. Republican leaders claim that a heavy schedule means bigger government, but the lax schedule has been challenged by no less a conservative than firebrand freshman Allen West.

This is not to suggest that the Democratic-controlled Senate is blameless. The Post’s Paul Kane went through Senate roll-call votes from this year and found that, of the 87 votes, the majority were on just three bills: 25 on the highway bill, 16 on the postal bill and 13 on an insider-trading bill. Sixteen others were on confirmations.

But there is a crucial difference: While a simple majority in the House can pass pretty much anything without agreement of the minority, the Senate is traditionally where bills go to die. Because the Democrats lack a filibuster-proof majority, they can bring virtually nothing to a vote without the blessing of the Republicans. Even with that high hurdle, the Senate has been able to slog through a number of bills in recent weeks: a long-term renewal of the surface transportation bill, renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, postal reform and a bill making it easier for companies to go public.

The last of those passed the House, too, but the other three are awaiting action. Of those, the failure to pass a long-term highway bill is particularly glaring. House Speaker John Boehner announced in November that he was proceeding with the bill, but so far he has been able to pass only a short-term extension. The House also has yet to act on the China currency bill the Senate passed last fall. Instead, House Republicans have voted repeatedly on budgets that will never be followed and similarly doomed attempts at repealing Obama priorities.

With such a lean agenda, filling even 41 days has been a challenge. House Republicans are now devoting full floor debates to bills such as H.R. 2087, “To remove restrictions from a parcel of land situated in the Atlantic District, Accomack County, Virginia.” That issue — allowing development on a 32-acre property — was so crucial to the Republic that lawmakers had five roll-call votes on the topic.

They dressed it up and called it a “jobs bill” — but really it was another bill showing that House Republicans aren’t doing theirs.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:52 PM
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

harry reid, democrat, controls senate, refuses to consider any bill sent by republican house, the representatives of the people. (the senate are the representatives of the states)

if reid did allow anything to pass, it would still get vetoed by the president.

any questions?

until democrats lose control, nothing good is going to happen.

i think it was gingrich that said, things will start getting better late on the night of the election, when people realize obama is finished. that's when people can start making plans to hire people, expand their business, without fear of confiscation.




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Old 05-02-2012, 04:54 PM
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

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Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
harry reid, democrat, controls senate, refuses to consider any bill sent by republican house, the representatives of the people. (the senate are the representatives of the states)

if reid did allow anything to pass, it would still get vetoed by the president.

any questions?

until democrats lose control, nothing good is going to happen.

i think it was gingrich that said, things will start getting better late on the night of the election, when people realize obama is finished. that's when people can start making plans to hire people, expand their business, without fear of confiscation.
If the House were sending over reasonable bills I'd agree with you but since they aren't, well....
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:04 PM
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

reasonable would be - prioritize - spend only the money that is coming in - stop borrowing. it's what all reasonable people do.

the obama plan was: pass out lots of money to all our political supporters, and later, when the economy recovers, on its own, claim credit. in mean time, take a vacation.

headed for $16 trillion debt, now. half the workers aren't working and are surviving on food stamps. there's no leadership to be found, anywhere. nobody has a plan. congress just passes "continuing resolutions" so they won't be blamed for government shutdown, like newt was.


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Old 05-02-2012, 05:12 PM
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

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Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
reasonable would be - prioritize - spend only the money that is coming in - stop borrowing. it's what all reasonable people do.

the obama plan was: pass out lots of money to all our political supporters, and later, when the economy recovers, on its own, claim credit. in mean time, take a vacation.

headed for $16 trillion debt, now. half the workers aren't working and are surviving on food stamps. there's no leadership to be found, anywhere. nobody has a plan. congress just passes "continuing resolutions" so they won't be blamed for government shutdown, like newt was.
I think you're ignoring that the bills were not, in fact, to the nation's benefit.

But we're not going to agree, so...
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:51 PM
willyjoe willyjoe is offline
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
harry reid, democrat, controls senate, refuses to consider any bill sent by republican house, the representatives of the people. (the senate are the representatives of the states)

if reid did allow anything to pass, it would still get vetoed by the president.

any questions?

until democrats lose control, nothing good is going to happen.

i think it was gingrich that said, things will start getting better late on the night of the election, when people realize obama is finished. that's when people can start making plans to hire people, expand their business, without fear of confiscation.
If one party or the other were going to "fix" anything it would have been done. They're all on the same team and deeply vested in the status quo. So no, none of them want to see anything corrective pass. YOUR people included, who hate govt, but not the $, power, and ability to gain from being in the govt. They hate govt, but love being part of it. Odd that. YOUR party runs against Obama as if they have some answer. Apparently they kept all this a secret and sat on all these magical fixes in 2000-2006 when they had no opposition to anything they wanted to get done.

So in essense their pitch is this:

Hey look, sure, we stuck it to ya in 2000-2006, but if you hand everything back over to us, we'll take it seriously this time and fix all the s-h-i-t we wrecked last time.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:54 PM
willyjoe willyjoe is offline
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Re: Our do-almost-nothing Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
reasonable would be - prioritize - spend only the money that is coming in - stop borrowing. it's what all reasonable people do.

the obama plan was: pass out lots of money to all our political supporters, and later, when the economy recovers, on its own, claim credit. in mean time, take a vacation.

headed for $16 trillion debt, now. half the workers aren't working and are surviving on food stamps. there's no leadership to be found, anywhere. nobody has a plan. congress just passes "continuing resolutions" so they won't be blamed for government shutdown, like newt was.
The republican party has magically now become against borrowing and spending - since they're out of power. Odd that.
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