SO HOW IS THE NEW CONGRESS DOING?
REPUBLICAN LEGLISLATIVE INITIATIVES
All righty. So now it’s been just over a month since the Republicans took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. You will remember that just a few days after last year’s midterm elections, there were dozens if not hundreds of pronouncements about how the new Red Majority was going to show the country that they could govern unlike Obama and the Democrats who, by implication if not outright speechifying, have not governed for the past six years or ever, dumb socialist swine that they are. Well so it goes.
The latest “good governance event” is the Bibi Netanyahu brouhaha. Yes, as you know dear old Boehner, still House Leader, in a fit of another round of Obama hatred spewliness, invited Bibi to address a Joint Session of Congress next month. And no, it’s not against US law or the Constitution or even some obscure Congressional rule that he did so. Course, it’s never happened in the history of the US but then we never had a Black President before have we? We should expect unprecedented events when you have a Black President I guess. Then too, we never had a President so publicly vilified, insulted, demeaned or attacked before have we? And Boehner is always happy to contribute to this idiocy whenever an opportunity presents itself.
According to the right wing Obama is the most criminal President in US history. Why? Mainly because he’s had the outright audacity (insanity?) to question the most beloved of the right wing’s pet social, political and economic beliefs. You know, like Obama believing that the government should help it’s citizens in times of great economic strife. Or his voicing the treasonous idea that all is not well between the races. Or that bombing a country into oblivion is not the only tool available in our diplomatic arsenal. Or that cutting taxes is not the only economic policy that can be applied to the American economy.
But you know all this. So as we head into the second month of Red Majority rule, let’s see how the Republicans have responded to their newly won responsibility for leading the nation:
1. More defund Obamacare bills. I mean, really, this is just so tiresome and boring. I think they’re up to 53. But then that was the count last week. Could be more by today.
2. A bill approving the Keystone Pipeline (something the Koch Brothers want very much) which will create about three permanent jobs and make it easier to ship all that shale oil overseas rather than consuming it here even though it crosses US land and uses US ports. (And ask the folks in Texas – YES TEXAS! no less - who live next to a fracking enterprise and are now suing their local government for approving it.)
3. A proposed bill to cut Disability Benefits thus keeping the old Republican promise of “reforming” (gutting or privatizing, same difference) Social Security. Oh, and just so you know, disability folks amount to about 0.6% of all SSA beneficiaries so you can imagine how greatly this will impact the Federal Budget and save Social Security expenditures.
4. The establishment of a new Benghazi Committee. Yes, three years and 51 million dollars (or whatever) has simply not been enough to thoroughly get to the bottom of Benghazi. But this time around it’s a sure thing since this newest Committee has no time limit nor any budgetary limit to worry about. We can all expect great revelations, I’m sure.
5. Like cutting taxes, one of the Republican’s newest efforts to put America back on economic track is Dynamic Scoring whereby any regulatory legislation must continue to subjected to cost-benefit analysis but now must also account for the increase or decrease in revenues and jobs as a result. Republicans erroneously believe that regulations actually diminish employment but they are wrong. They probably weren’t thinking about the American’s With Disability Act which, since it’s passage in the 1990’s, has pumped billions upon billions of dollars into the economy.
6. Naturally, in a bid to woe female voters, the House passed a bill to cut off all abortions at 20 weeks and require that women seeking an abortion watch an information video. I’m not sure of the video’s subject matter – “Daffy Duck Goes Shopping” maybe, just to lighten things up?
7. Just in case you think the Republicans have turned a new leaf now that they are in the majority of both arms of Congress, you’d be wrong. The House passed a bill that would weaken the already pathetic Dodd-Frank legislation that was passed to prevent another economic crash like the one in 2008 that we are still recovering from. But then Citigroup does spend a lot of money in Congress each year so what other result can we expect?
8. And always ready to fight the good fight over immigration, the House attached an amendment to the Homeland Security funding bill that would defund Obama’s Executive Order immigration actions. I’m on the fence about this one after that guy got arrested and jailed for a day for daring to question the TSA folks.
9. In a bid to really put the cabosh on Obama and Obamacare, the House passed a bill increasing the definition of full time work from 30 to 40 hours which would exempt some additional gazillion companies from having to offer health insurance to their employees. Somehow Republicans think that this is how you take care of Americans.
10. The House’s invitation to the Prime Minister of Israel to speak before a joint session of Congress was done without notifying the White House or the Senate, which body of Congress has authority for foreign affairs. The House does not. The idea being that since Netanyahu is facing re-election shortly after his scheduled speech next month, this will help his chances. (BTW if he needs to speak to the US to get re-elected at home, I consider this a good sign.) And, natch, he gets to tell the American people that Iran is just too dangerous to allow for the current nuclear negotiations to succeed. This one, though, has caused a bit of a backlash and now it looks as if Boehner has egg on his face for attempting to stick it to Obama one more time. But, trust me, it won’t be the last.
Well there you have it. Not a complete list, just a primer. The great, grand achievements of the Congress of the United States in 2015 thus far. True, it’s still early in the game and who knows things may get better. Never fear, we have two more years of Congressional Red Majority and I’m sure there will be many more similar brilliant examples of how the Republicans are showing all us America how they can govern.
You know, I was hoping against hope that things would get better but then again I guess I wasn’t taking into account the virulent anti-Obama hatred disease Republicans and conservatives seem to be infected with. Will I ever learn?