Productivity in 13th Congress is at an all time low, yet again. While the 112th Congress set the record for least productive Congress over a two-year legislative period, the 113th Congress is on track to break the record, by becoming the least productive Congress over a single year. What makes it even worse is that some Republicans are bragging about their record failure, as if it were a good thing.
Wisconsin republican House Representative brags that he ran on a government that did less.
“I ran on a government that did less,” Wisconsin Representative Reid Ribble told the New York Times “I felt the government was overreaching, and the citizens that sent me didn’t want me to be overaggressive in writing new laws.”
Make no mistake, Congress is not being held up by partisanship or gridlock in Washington. The 113th Congress is being held up by Republican representatives who are working diligently to make sure that nothing gets done in Washington.
The republican controlled 113th Congress has ignored vital legislation.
It’s not just that the republican controlled 113th Congress has not passed any new legislation. Republicans have routinely ignored important issues, like Immigration Reform and the American jobs bill. They’ve also halted many other pieces of legislation in the House, never allowing them to reach the floor for a vote.
But it goes beyond that. The republican controlled 113th Congress has also failed to pass key pieces of legislation, that have set US policies for decades. Among these are both the Defense Bill and the Pentagon Policy Bill.
The Farm Bill, which establishes national agricultural policies, has also not been passed by the 113th Congress. According to the New York Times “If agreement cannot be reached on a farm bill by the end of the month, an agricultural system in place for decades will suddenly cease. The price of milk is set to skyrocket.”
The republican controlled 113th Congress has even failed to pass the most basic of all legislation, a spending bill. Instead, republicans chose to shut down the Federal government for 17 days, putting millions of people out of work, jeopardizing important Scientific research and causing billions of dollars in economic losses.
How can you do worse than the “worst congress in history?”
The 112th Congress earned the nickname “The Do Nothing Congress, even though they actually did far less than Truman’s original do nothing Congress. It was also dubbed the “worst Congress in history.” Who would have thought any Congress could have done worse than the “worst Congress in history?”
The 113th Congress did worse. It broke records set by the previous Congress, not only as the least productive, but also as the least popular Congress in history. For the first time ever, Congress was less popular than head lice, cockroaches, traffic jams and root canals. The 113th Congress deserves to be called the “Do Less Than Nothing Congress” or better yet, the “Worse Than The Worst Congress In History, Congress.”
It is not gridlock, it is obstruction.
Gridlock in Washington is not to blame for the failure of the 113th Congress to perform even its most basic functions. The steep downhill slide in productivity and popularity coincides with the 2010 elections, when the tea party first infiltrated Congress. As Ribble’s statement shows, republican members of the 113th Congress wholly believe doing nothing is their job. They are not ashamed of their horrible record. Instead, they see it as a bragging point.
The American people foot the bill for Congressional salaries and for all of the perks that go along with them. We pay for their private gym, plus their meals and travel. Taxpayers pay for what amounts to more than one-third of a year’s paid vacation for Congress, their healthcare, pension plans and much more. Yet house republicans have entirely failed to do their jobs.
It’s no secret that republicans in the House and Senate view the government as the enemy. We should make no mistakes about it. They are there to prevent the government from functioning, not to help it function better. They don’t want to streamline government functions, they want to do whatever they can to keep the government from functioning at all. The fact that they see the complete failure of the 113th Congress to carry out its duties as bragging points, just proves that they don’t belong in government at all.