The Embarrassing Failure Of The 112th United States Congress
Our do-nothing Congress adjourned with little fanfare on September 21 and won't be in session again until after the November elections. This action should make voters angry on so many levels. Most members of the 112th Congress will be hitting the campaign trailes to help their respective parties.
This most recent recess comes just two weeks after their last five week Summer recess. To put it another way, they will have only “worked” two weeks out of at least eleven weeks. Compare that to the 106th Congress in 2000 that took just nine days off during the election time.
These elected representatives are paid approximately paid $174,000 annually (I wonder in their minds, if they consider themselves middle class) with outstanding benefits that are out of reach of most private citizens.
What has the 112th Congress accomplished? Nothing. The Postal Service is barely treading water and the USPS has pleaded with Congress to stop Saturday delivery and approve a list of post offices that have already been identified for closure, in hopes to stop the fiscal bleeding.
The Post Service cannot do any of these actions with out the approval of Congress. The USPS is so much in the red that if it were a public company, bankruptcy would have been declared long ago. This Congress punted the ball down the road again in regards to the USPS.
Other important legislation was the The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act bill. It expired on September 30th, a week after congress adjourned. Most workers would have been fired or disciplined by not meeting deadlines. Not the 112th Congress. We see this Congress as “special” and maybe members of this Congress also think of themselves as special.
How Special? Consider these facts. The 112th took one of the earliest breaks for Congress in more than fifty years at a time when Congress has an approval rating that hovers around 13 percent, the lowest approval ratings since Gallup started polls on Congress. Seems to me, voters have a right to dock the pay of these clowns.
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The creation of the Congress Joint Select Committee, or Supercommittee, was created on August 2, 2011 largely because Congress was so dysfunctional and gridlocked. The purpose of the Supercommittee was to reduce the cumulative deficit by $1.2 trillion. If this did not happen then a “Doomsday” option would trigger automatically, activating spending cuts and increases in taxes.
Of course the Supercommittee couldn't agree so January 2013 these automatic budget cuts will take place. President Obama has threatened to veto any effort to repeal the automatic spending cuts. Good for him. Only thing I'm disappointed with is in Obama exempting military personal from the $54 billions defense cuts on this budget.
I'm very pro-military and I’m a Marine vet, but also a poker player. I want to hold these lawmaker's feet to the fire and make them call my bluff. Congress does not need to be on another vacation for the next five weeks. They need to work as their constitutes do, many in low paying work. Grinding, unfulfilling, jobs but working because that is what they are paid to do.
Though members of this Congress won't accept responsibility for their collective failure, we as citizens, have to accept some responsibility for this dysfunctional mess of individuals we have elected to represent us and the country.
These days we have two parties that have been taken over by extremists on both ends. We don't have a viable third party that could be useful in breaking this deadlock.
Sadly, it takes many millions of dollars to mount an active campaign with the blessing of the hierarchy that rules one of the two major parties. A third party, or an independent doesn’t have the millions of dollars or the influence that the monster republican and democratic machines have.
I'm unsure of all of the particulars, but I do know that presidential responsibilities in the Constitution give the president the power to call a special session of congress. A special session has been called at least forty-six times and another twenty-seven times both chambers were called in. As I said, I haven’t done too much research on this unique power available to the president but something needs to be done.
Bottom line, this Congress has not done their job. Voters, also have to look in the mirror and take blame also. Think of Frankenstein. Through are votes, this is what we have created.
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