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,
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.
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.
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."
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.
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