Our idiots in Congress

The Republicans have been threatening to filibuster a lot of Democratic legislation these days. The threat (not an actual filibuster) has kept the following legislation off the table: (Courtesy of Open Left)

  1. January 17, Reid Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007: a bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process.
  2. January 24, Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007: a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
  3. February 5, A bill to express the sense of Congress on Iraq: disapproving of the troop escalation in Iraq.
  4. February 17, A bill to express the sense of Congress on Iraq: disapproving of the troop escalation in Iraq (again).
  5. April 17, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007: an original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
  6. April 18, Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007: a bill to amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for fair prescription drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
  7. June 11, No confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales: a joint resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people.
  8. June 21, Baucus Amendment to CLEAN Energy Act of 2007: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for energy advancement and investment, and for other purposes.
  9. June 26, Employee Free Choice Act of 2007: A bill to amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.
  10. July 11, Webb Amendment to the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2008: to specify minimum periods between deployment of units and members of the Armed Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

But there is good news. Senator Harry Reid is says he is going to finally force the Republicans to actually filibuster a bill that would require a reduction in forces in Iraq. Let’s see if the Democrats have the spine to go through with it.

Speaking of spine; some Democratic lawmakers are still not ready to restore Habeas Corpus. You know… the thing that keeps us from being locked in jail just because the government says so. Bob Geiger has the list of those yet to find their spines.

3 Comments

  1. Ian

    Maybe they just do it as a matter of principle, but I don’t see why they just don’t vote and let Bush veto stuff like he promises he will. I mean at this point, Bush is more likely to disapprove of a bill than the Republicans anyways.

    As for the Democrats, spine is one thing, but passing legislation they know Bush will veto is just wasting time.

  2. Chris

    [quote comment="27919"]…passing legislation they know Bush will veto is just wasting time.[/quote]

    I don’t think so. First off, I wouldn’t want the Democrats to be passing legislation that Bush wants, considering what I know of his politics. Second, it shows the American people that they are trying to get things done, but that they can’t because of the President.

  3. Ian

    Second, it shows the American people that they are trying to get things done, but that they can’t because of the President.

    In the simple idealistic way, I agree. In the realistic way, I disagree. Sure you can pass bills demanding we bring troops home from Iraq, and you can let Bush just veto them. That’s fine and all, but in the end, is Congress really being better than Bush? Neither side wants to compromise for the other, so nothing gets done. The Democrats could put away their partisan crap and work to get a bill done that both they and a large amount of Republicans can get behind. Then it won’t matter what Bush does, cause Congress will override him. Its not necessarily about giving Bush what he wants, its about not giving him the choice. Look at immigration, look at social security, look at all these other things that could be having progress made, but Democrats are so intensely focused on the war and refuse to compromise enough that they waste a ton of time debating a bill, getting it passed with slim majority, then having Bush veto it. Its stupid, I don’t care if they are the morally correct party or whatever, if theres no results, they are wasting time. You aren’t going to find too many bills that weren’t passed in the history books.

    They saw the electing of a democratic majority as a referendum on the Bush administration, and to some extent it was. The majority is too slim to be able to overrule Bush, so they don’t really have power, they just make him lame duck. This sounds so much like Bush’s, “I gained some political capital when I won the second election, and I intend to spend it.” It sucks, they should just bide their time and be productive until a democrat is president, then get what they want done. Congress’ approval rating is abysmal, they are burning up any goodwill the democrats might have had by looking like partisan dicks.