The Norman Transcript

Columns

August 8, 2013

Congress takes vacation from doing nothing

NORMAN — Exhausted from a nonstop regimen of doing nothing, members of Congress are badly in need of a vacation.

The poor dears are absolutely pooped, having not passed an immigration bill … or a farm bill … or a transportation and housing bill … or a reasonable gun-control bill … or come up with a plan to allow the United States of America to pay its bills.

So while thousands of Americans suffer under the effects of an unnecessary sequestration caused by their representatives’ obduracy, Congress is taking five weeks off.

It will be rather difficult to tell the difference. Each legislative proposal made by President Obama is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives, and no one in the GOP has a kind word to say about it at the funeral.

Last week, the president proposed cutting the corporate tax rate and using the expected new revenue for worker training and to invest in jobs making infrastructure improvements.

However, the Republicans wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.

So, with all the problems facing the country they profess to love, in the last week before their recess, House Republicans hurried to pass a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Again.

Meanwhile, in that the Democrat-controlled Senate, a faction of Tea Party Republicans wants to shut down the government if that’s what it would take to kill the Affordable Care Act. That potentially politically suicidal idea was immediately rejected by the Republicans’ caucus.

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn did the math and said the GOP couldn’t come close to enough votes to get past the Senate or an Obama veto. Susan Collins, of Maine, said it was bad policy and bad politics.

A recent Rasmussen poll showed Congress’ approval rating at less than 10 percent, making Obama’s worst-of-his-presidency 45 percent look astronomical by comparison.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo