National Journal’s article fairly damns Congress and especially the House for doing very little this year about jobs.
Probably more damning is this little fact: In a period of time that historically might see 50 or 100 laws passed, Congress has passed into law only 13 measures. The “Do Nothing” 80th Congress Truman campaigned against passed nearly 900 laws. The current Congress is on track to pass 52. Most important, probably, are the authorization and appropriations bills for the different departments of the federal government, much more important than the non-binding budget resolutions conservatives whine about. Republicans have successfully blocked almost all authorization and appropriations action. Appropriations bills, of course, must originate in the GOP-shackled House of Representatives.
In the six months and four days since the 113th Congress began, it has passed 13 laws. And, despite lawmakers constantly beating the drum on boosting jobs, none of the new measures have been focused on employment. Here’s a list of what the 113th Congress has passed in its first six months:
- H.R.41: To temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program.
Sponsor: Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] (introduced 1/3/2013) Cosponsors (44)
- H.R.152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] (introduced 1/4/2013) Cosponsors (None)
- H.R.325: No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Sponsor: Rep Camp, Dave [MI-4] (introduced 1/21/2013) Cosponsors (1)
- S.47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
Sponsor: Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] (introduced 1/22/2013) Cosponsors (61)
- H.R.307: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike J. [MI-8] (introduced 1/18/2013) Cosponsors (5)
- H.R.933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Harold [KY-5] (introduced 3/4/2013) Cosponsors (None)
- S.716: A bill to modify the requirements under the STOCK Act regarding online access to certain financial disclosure statements and related forms.
Sponsor: Sen Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 4/11/2013) Cosponsors (None)
- H.R.1246: District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Vacancy Act
Sponsor: Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] (introduced 3/19/2013) Cosponsors (None)
- H.R.1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013
Sponsor: Rep Latham, Tom [IA-3] (introduced 4/26/2013) Cosponsors (None)
- H.R.1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.
Sponsor: Rep Hanna, Richard L. [NY-22] (introduced 3/12/2013) Cosponsors (2)
- H.R.360: To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley to commemorate the lives they lost 50 years ago in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where these 4 little Black girls’ ultimate sacrifice served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
Sponsor: Rep Sewell, Terri A. [AL-7] (introduced 1/23/2013) Cosponsors (301)
- H.R.258: Stolen Valor Act of 2013
Sponsor: Rep Heck, Joseph J. [NV-3] (introduced 1/15/2013) Cosponsors (127)
- S.982: Freedom to Fish Act
Sponsor: Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] (introduced 5/16/2013) Cosponsors (3)
Freedom to Fish Act? No doubt it is important to someone. But even that someone, or those somebodies, would benefit from a jobs bill, more than from the Freedom to Fish Act.
When I worked for Lamar Alexander, I found him to be among the more fair and forward thinking of elected politicians. It’s good to see he can still move a bill.
It’s tragic he’s been unable to push the GOP to move on more important matters.
I recall sitting up to get the news out to Utah, and anyone else interested in the nation, when Congress would pass 13 laws in a night. At no point did it occur to me to think “these are the good old days of America,” then.
- Obama Signs Bill Awarding 1963 Birmingham Bombing Victims Congressional Medal of Honor (goodblacknews.org)
- U.S. awards medals to four girls killed in 1963 civil rights bombing (news.yahoo.com)
- U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) introduces H.R. 2247 To ‘Get State Department Out of Gun Control Business’ (12160.info)
- Stop Diabetes: Support the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (S962/H.R.452). (prweb.com)
- ATA: VETS Act Expands Veterans Access to Care, Protects Patient Safety (prweb.com)
- 13 reasons this is the worst Congress ever [and this was last year!] (Ezra Klein at Wonkblog)