Jefferson's democracy

Franklin Jefferson's thoughts on the world

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Do-nothing congress

"...Congress will convene Tuesday for what some fear will be the lamest of lame-duck sessions, and GOP leaders have decided to take a minimalist approach before turning over the reins of power to the Democrats. Rather than a final surge of activity, Congress will probably wrap up things after a single, short week of work. They have even decided to punt decisions on annual government spending measures to the Democrats next year.

"Before the midterm elections, GOP leaders had dismissed the Democrats'"do nothing" label for the 109th Congress as political posturing, promising that a robust post-election session would put the accusation to rest. Instead, Republican lawmakers will have met for one week in November, devoted almost exclusively to leadership elections, and one week in December, largely to pick committee assignments, move offices and pass a measure to keep the government operating through February.

"That will mean this Congress will have spent the least time in session of any in at least half a century, according to Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, congressional historians and the authors of The Broken Branch, a critical look at recent Congresses. In the time they did meet, lawmakers will have failed to approve a budget resolution or pass at least eight of the 11 annual spending bills.

"Other significant pieces of legislation will be hard to find. Bush's push for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws produced a partially funded measure to build a border fence. "

--of course, there are those of us who think that doing nothing is the best thing that any Congress can do.


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