As House Republicans use up their last hours in session this month on more partisan messaging bills with no hope of enactment, we wanted to make sure you saw today’s New York Times piece highlighting the dismal record they’ve set as the least productive Congress of the modern age. Most egregiously, the Senate has passed a number of bipartisan bills that haven’t seen the light of day in the House – bills Congress used to pass easily and that affect millions of Americans. From the article:
“The 112th Congress is set to enter the Congressional record books as the least productive body in a generation, passing a mere 173 public laws as of last month. That was well below the 906 enacted from January 1947 through December 1948 by the body President Harry S. Truman referred to as the ‘do-nothing’ Congress, and far fewer than even a single session of many prior Congresses.”
“Partisanship and process have impeded measures that have traditionally been easy-peasy affairs — like the farm bill, or a measure to protect women against domestic violence — as well as those that have an impact on national security, for instance a bill to combat cybercrimes and a bipartisan measure to finance the military. A measure to shore up the ailing postal system might as well have been marked return to sender. A broadly supported measure that would normalize trade relations with Russia stalled.”
“‘It’s very frustrating to have worked on legislation that really matters to our country like the cybersecurity bill and legislation to save the Postal Service and just have them gather dust,’ said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine…. ‘This has been a very disappointing session with few accomplishments.’”
Disappointing to say the least. With millions of middle-class families and small businesses facing uncertainty over whether their taxes will go up next year, millions of farmers unsure about the future without the passage of a farm bill, and our service members in uniform concerned about the impact of the Republican-imposed sequester cuts set to take effect in January, it is simply irresponsible for Republican House leaders to leave for the Fall with a stack of unfinished business. And we’re guessing it won’t go over well with the American people, either.