A Washington Post column recently suggested that "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."
Most people agree that the 112th Congress is the worst Congress in U.S. history.
If we could point the finger at one party, this might clear things up. But both parties are culpable in today's Congress.
In the Democratically controlled Senate, they have not passed a budget resolution in three years and have yet to vote to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year. According to Vice President Joe Biden, this was the administration's No. 1 economic priority.
When it looked like the Obama Administration finally got busy trying to create jobs with a new jobs bill, he demanded Congress "pass this bill now."
Senate Republicans pushed for a vote. Instead, the Senate Democrat leadership changed the voting rules that kept the bill from getting to the Senate floor.
Do we care about job creation or not? Somebody has to stand up for our disenchanted job seekers and entrepreneurs — our job creators.
This country has more than 25 million unemployed or underemployed workers and a worldwide economic crisis that threatens America's prosperity. You would think that this might prompt a sense of urgency in Congress.
This report from Congress Matters sums up the futility of the Senate: "The Senate finally did reach an agreement on amendments to the FDA bill, which means they also finally did agree to agree to their prior agreement that they'd stop debating whether or not to start debating the bill, and start actually debating it."
Doesn't this sound like something out of Alice in Wonderland?
I wish the Republican-led House did their jobs better. But they have to actually meet to get things done.
A new report indicates that House members worked in Washington just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012. They are planning to be on vacation 17 of the year's remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town the typical workweek is three days.
In April of this year, Congress had an approval rating of just 12 percent.
Is it any wonder?
Thomas Jefferson once wrote: "If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?"
At the heart of the matter is that neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to compromise before the November presidential election.
I came across an intuitive column that appeared in the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. The report noted that "It appears that Senate Democrats and House Republicans not only anticipated the problems inherent in divided government, but also figured that more would be lost than gained by genuinely trying to enact new laws. Accordingly, each chose a different strategy that ensured nothing substantive would be enacted."
Congress needs a wake-up call.
Come November it is time to tell Congress they have one job: put our people back to work. If they can't, they'll be looking for a new line of work themselves. It's really that simple.
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