Congress went on recess and pretty much ignored the country.

August 2, 2013
By Seth Maloney | 5 comments

August, the time of year when Congress leaves town for five weeks. Usually it gives them the chance to step away from the breakneck pace of the Legislative Calendar, and gives them a chance to reconnect with their constituents. Except under this failed GOP leadership, it's where we get to call them to task for barely doing anything for the American people. Here's a list of everything they left unfinished. 

1. The Sequester


It's still there, and it's still killing over a million jobs (1.6 million by the end of 2014). The automatic spending cuts are already striking into the economy, and slowing growth. While the Tea Party continues to demand that it stays, or even doesn't go far enough, there's still a lot to say about moments like this one:
“Thus I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration — and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts — must be brought to an end.” - Rep. Hal Rogers (R. KY)

You know something's up when the GOP head of the House Appropriations Committee speaks out against spending cuts. 

2. Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development


The quote from the Kentucky representative is actually about the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill (THUD). The bill serves to fund a part of the government next year, so of course congress couldn't get its act together. But why? The bill would go higher than what sequestration allows. 

Good job GOP.

3. The Budget

Congress needs to pass 12 appropriations bills to fund the government. Who made that dumb law?

Oh... the framers...

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution says,

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

So it's slightly mandatory for Congress to get its act together on this one. The fiscal year ends on October 1st. Because congress comes back on September 9th, and barely meets anyway, there will only be 9 days for them to pass a budget. 


4. Immigration


In a rare move, Obama and the House GOP leadership came to an agreement to set a deadline for immigration reform in the House. Guess what deadline came and went with nothing to show. 

What's more? The deal powered its way through the Senate. What does this mean? It means that the House definition of "bipartisan" is actually "liberal."

Conclusion?

The 113th congress had, until this week, only passed 13 bills. At the rate it's going it's likely going to be less productive than the 112th Congress, which was the least productive since World War 2, and take the mantle of being the least productive in the history of the United States.

What did they actually get done before the August recess? They passed their 14th bill - student loan reform that will actually raise rates over the years for millions of students. 

Oh, and the House passed its 40th repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Sweet. 


Categories: Budget and Taxes Economy and Jobs Education

Comments

Commenting on this post has been closed.

The obstructionism of the Republicans is outrageous. I'm 72 and I've never seen anything like it. The misrepresentations, obfuscations, and outright lies used to block any compromises feel almost treasonous at this point. We need to take back our government from those out to destroy it.

Dianna Taylor

It is time to TAKE IT TO THE STREETS and GET OUT the VOTE - especially when voting rights are being smothered!! Do you want to get some training to be an effective CANDIDATE in 2014, or learn how to help your local Dem Party or candidates get out the DEM vote in 2014? There is a two-day TRAINING session being held for ANY interested Democrat in one month in Birmingham AL and people from all over are invited!! Come out of the "Dem closet" (if you are in a Red state) and CONNECT w fellow Dems. You don't have to be a candidate or campaign manager to attend! Here is the link: http://www.democracyforamerica.com/trainings/159-campaign-academy-in-birmingham-al I'd love to see you there!!

Jo Ann Cummings

It has become pretty well understood that most of the members of Congress are interested in only one thing - the money needed to get re-elected. We know that the vast majority of this money comes from wealthy and corporate interests. The members of Congress should remember who elects them and expects them to accomplish their sworn job of serving the electorate. It is a disgrace that anyone in this great country goes hungry or uneducated or lacking in medical care. To those who have forgotten the real people they serve - SHAME!

Nancy Burton

They are taking care of those who take care of them.......

Richard Hughes

RECALL NOW!!!! Do not wait to vote these fools out in 2014 and 2016. Let's get RECALL efforts started now. Let's start with the 38 white, male Senators who voted against everything, just to hold the country hostage to their backwards ideas. RECALL NOW!!!!

Meri Keiser
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