All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election on November 4th. I didn’t write ‘reelection’ with a purpose in mind. Not a single one of them should be reelected; they haven’t accomplished anything in two years, why should we give them two more? I believe Congressional incumbents should simply stay home.
The last Congress which accomplished anything was the 111th. The Affordable Care Act, the stimulus package, Dodd-Frank financial reform, the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act, and others. There was controversy, but they were also courageous.
Then came the 112th in January 2011. When it ended in 2013 it had accomplished absolutely nothing of importance. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell openly stated that Republican’s only purpose was to prevent the reelection of President Obama; and that was all they did. How did that work for you, Mitch?
With no accomplishments, all they had left were failures. They nearly shut down the government and breached the fiscal debt ceiling. They forced the Sequester which removed funds from necessary programs. Not a single positive piece of legislation reached the President’s desk for his signature.
When its two-year term ended, it had passed 283 pieces of legislation. It ranks as the worst Congress in history. Its closest competitor was the 104th which began in 1995, ending in 1997. The Republican controlled House had a singular purpose; to destroy President Clinton. Somehow it still found the time to pass 333 public laws.
In January 2013 the 113th Congress was sworn in. Good riddance 112, now something will get done. Wrong.
In reality the 113th Congress ended with its summer recess in August of 2014. When they returned 435 Congressmen and 33 Senators are spending the remainder of their term at fundraisers and campaigning for reelection. And, just like their younger brother, they have accomplished nothing. Estimates are that they will pass a total of 251 pieces of legislation.
Back in October of 2013, Democratic Congressman Steven Horsford of Nevada commented regarding the disgust of the American people. He said ‘if we can’t work together to do the people’s business, we shouldn’t be here.’ But Congress can’t handle the truth.
Take note that a generous portion of bills passed are renewals of past legislation. Virtually nothing new and substantive was actually proposed.
Who is to blame for this extremely poor effort? Begin with the leader of the pack. John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House in 2011. He will go on record as the worst Speaker in our nation’s history. Multiple times during his tenure he has refused to act on legislation passed by the Senate. Not only did he not work with the Senate to modify the laws, he wouldn’t allow the House to vote on any portion of them.
Is there hope for the 114th Congress? Not likely. All estimates confirm that control of the House will remain in Republican hands. That’s not the worst that could happen; John Boehner will likely remain in the Speaker’s role.
The last acts of the 113th Congress were all negative. One hundred percent of Republicans voted against an extension of un-employment. One hundred percent of Republicans voted against equal pay for women in the workplace.
Is there any reason to believe that important issues such as immigration reform will be addressed in 2015? If your bookie allows you to be on it, mortgage the house and bet on the negative.
By James Turnage