Monday, August 14, 2017
OUR DERELICT CONGRESS
Published in Newsmax
Republicans on Capitol Hill are doing everything possible to lose their majorities in 2018. They always seemed uneasy in the Majority. They may get their wish and have the voters return them to a permanent Minority.
Senate Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, recently railed against President Trump about “excessive expectations” and not knowing the “reality of lawmaking”.
Is it “excessive” to think the Senate and House should pass a Budget Resolution? Every previous Congress passed one by April. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 mandates Congress pass an overall Budget Resolution to guide Appropriations. This year’s budget resolution was introduced on July 21, with no action scheduled. Republicans have majorities in both Chambers, what is the hold up?
Is it “excessive” to think the Senate and House should pass eleven Appropriation Bills to fund the government? Up through 2014, the House passed all eleven bills by July. Since the Republicans took the Senate in 2015, only a few Appropriation bills even passed the House. Not one has passed the House in 2017. Hearings haven’t even been scheduled.
Is it “excessive” to think the Congress should spend time actually working? The House met for only eight days in April, twelve days in May, and will not meet in August. Worse, in 2017, House votes are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and none are scheduled on Fridays. This means most House Members only work two and a half days a week. They can fly in Tuesday afternoon and leave Thursday night without being recorded as absent on the other days. So in July there were only nine days of actual voting. The same nine days of voting are scheduled for September, even though there is a firm end of month deadline for funding the government past September 30, 2017.
Is it “excessive” to expect Members of Congress to work for citizens and not for themselves? When Members are “in session”, they spend up to four hours every day making political fundraising calls out of the Republican and Democrat national headquarters near the Capitol. Instead of participating in debate, attending hearings, and listening to constituents, Members are sitting in cubicles, wearing headsets, and making calls to shake down donors for campaign money.
Does the “reality of lawmaking” include casting fake votes for use in direct mail fundraising? That is what happened in 2015 when Senators Alexander, Capito, Heller, McCain, Murkowski, and Portman voted for a straight repeal of Obamacare. They knew President Obama would veto the legislation, their votes were used in campaign ads and fundraising. These six Senators voted against a straight repeal of Obamacare in July 2017, because they knew President Trump would sign the bill. When do votes reflect real policy instead of fake propaganda acts?
Does the “reality of lawmaking” include crippling President Trump’s ability to have his team running the Executive Branch? Since Trump was sworn-in, Republicans and the conservative media blamed Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats for holding up Presidential appointments. However, on the last day before the Senate left for their August Recess, Republicans unanimously invoked a procedure that prevented Trump from naming Recess Appointments. This has never before been used against a Party’s own President. Why didn’t Senate Republicans negotiate with Trump allowing him to Recess Appoint key nominees stalled in the confirmation process? This act of treachery shows Senate Republicans truly want Trump to fail.
If they were in the military, Capitol Hill Republicans would have been Court Martialed for dereliction of duty. Their actions, and inactions, are the very definition of dereliction:
United States Code Title 10, Section 892, Article 92 - Member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties…Article 92 also applies to members whose acts or omissions rise to the level of criminally negligent behavior.
Why are Congressional Republicans so determined to obliterate themselves and their Party?
Americans deserve better.