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.

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