Friday, June 27, 2014

Wasting time doesn’t get it done

    The process of creating new laws in the U.S. is supposed to work like this: Congress first needs to pass a bill in the House of Representatives, then in the Senate. The bill is then signed by the president. Some laws must also face the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. At least, this is how it used to work when members of Congress were serious about doing what they do.  
    This is how it worked when the Affordable Care Act became law in 2009, but Republicans have been angry with that outcome ever since. Those in the House of Representatives have voted 50 times for its repeal. Those votes have no impact on the Senate. The Supreme Court already ruled on the ACA, but the repeal attempts keep coming.
    Albert Einstein told us that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Whether or not the House’s actions are insane, it is certain that it is a colossal waste of time.
    Frustrated that they cannot get the Senate to go along, Republicans in the House have moved to calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Lacking any evidence of the constitutional high crimes and misdemeanors necessary to justify impeachment, this tactic is just another colossal waste of time.
    This week, House Republicans proposed yet another new tactic in their war with the president, another tactic to distract voters from the fact that they have not been passing or even considering legislation. House Speaker John Boehner, on Wednesday, told reporters that he plans to sue Obama over his use of executive actions.
    “You know the Constitution makes it clear that the president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws and in my view the president has not faithfully executed the laws,” Boehner said in explaining his proposed suit.
    Given this opportunity to waste time, Boehner is unlikely to take note of the fact that President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any president in the last 100 years.
    The country needs what only Congress can provide. Bridges are in danger of collapse; highways are deteriorating; government technology needs updating. Speaker Boehner has determined these are not his or the Congress’ problems even though they are ours.
    Congress should do more than show up in the Capitol, put on a sideshow and collect paychecks. Congress should make laws that work for the American people, just like every school kid is taught it should.

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