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Forum Post: It looks like Congress is done legislating: Randi Rhodes

Posted 11 months ago on Nov. 13, 2013, 8 a.m. EST by WSmith (1972) from Cornelius, OR
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Randi Rhodes | Nov 12, 2013

It looks like Congress is done legislating for the rest of the year. That comes as a shock—I wasn’t aware that they had started legislating. Let’s not split hairs, let’s just say that Congress is done even pretending to legislate this year. The House is scheduled to be in session for only 7 days in November and 8 days in December. The only work that gets done in the House is when the cleaning crew comes in and dusts the seats of the members.

The United States is doing better than most people realize. As Eugene Robinson points out, the economy is growing, the stock market is at all-time highs, and the budget deficit has been slashed dramatically. We still have some serious problems in this country—but more than a few of them are intentionally caused by a Republican Congress. We have a cure for that, and it’s called an “election.”

The good news is that we’re better off than you think. The bad news is tha Republican designs are more nefarious than you know. With gerrymandering, obstructionism, and voter suppression, the Republicans have rigged the game. They can win close games by cheating but at a certain point they can only continue to win by cheating if they rewrite the rules of the game to allow their cheating. That’s what Citizens United was all about.

A group funded by the Koch brothers is throwing booze-filled tailgate parties at campuses to convince young people not to sign up for health insurance. Really. It sounds like they stole the idea from a story in the Onion. This is what the Koch brothers do with their billions—try to gradually destroy decent society. Why don’t they just poison the water supply and get it over with?

A white supremacist who is trying to turn a small North Dakota town into a white enclave has undergone a DNA test showing him to be part black. I guess he can’t live in his own town now. Or maybe he can live right on the border line. The DNA test showed that white supremacist Craig Cobb is 14 percent sub-Saharan African, or what most people just call “black” and what people like Craig Cobb call a whole bunch of other names.

http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/daily-blog-380723/on-todays-show-tue-nov-12-11820355/

http://www.randirhodes.com/articles/homework-364336/randis-homework-tue-nov-12-2013-11820134/

BTW: RR is being cut from commercial broadcasting, even more than she already is. WTFU!!

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[-] 0 points by WSmith (1972) from Cornelius, OR 11 months ago
[-] 0 points by WSmith (1972) from Cornelius, OR 11 months ago

Congress seems to be done legislating for the year

It would be a fitting end to 2013, a year devoid of the landmark legislation.

It’s just mid-November, but it’s quickly becoming a reality: Washington could be mostly done making laws for the year.

If it isn’t evident by looking at the thin congressional calendar, top sources in both chambers are downright grim that the final eight weeks in 2013 will produce any legislative breakthroughs, like a broad budget agreement or an immigration deal.

House Republicans say they will step up their oversight of the Obama administration in their final 15 days of session in 2013. The slow, plagued and flawed Obamacare rollout has given the GOP the fodder of its dreams, as at least three committees are digging into the issue, issuing subpoenas and holding committee hearings.

Meanwhile, a few hundred paces on the other side of the Capitol dome, the Senate is full of motion, working on passing a slew of bills that the House has little appetite for taking up. House GOP aides are already branding the increase in activity as an attempt to distract Americans from Obamacare’s problems.

(PHOTOS: House GOP meets on shutdown, debt deal)

In short, if there are hopes of sending President Barack Obama the comprehensive immigration bill so many have lobbied for, or the Employee Non-Discrimination Act before 2014, they’re likely to be dashed.

It would be a fitting end to 2013, a year devoid of the landmark legislation that both parties say the nation needs.

Both privately and publicly, top D.C. leaders are voicing skepticism about anything happening this year. In a recent meeting with his Republican leadership colleagues, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) joked that the House shouldn’t even remain in session in December. As the schedule stands now, the House anticipates being in session eight days next month, after working seven days in November.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 House Republican, told activists last week that there isn’t enough time to complete immigration reform this year.

(PHOTOS: Senate’s Obamacare hearing)

There’s a possibility of a few things getting done. Republican and Democratic negotiators in both chambers are trying to hash out a narrow budget deal and a farm bill. If either of those were to come together, it would be a major accomplishment. Some optimistic House aides say they might act to update the sustainable growth rate — the pricey formula by which doctors get reimbursed for serving Medicare patients.

In a refrain that’s become standard on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the Senate schedule will be so aggressive in the next two weeks he might keep the chamber in session on weekends. If history is any guide, it’s a mostly empty threat. Reid’s staff say it is planning to pack the legislative schedule to the brim, scheduling important votes on Mondays, a day typically reserved for noncontroversial votes, as well as Fridays, when the chamber is typically out of session.

The Nevada Democrat says his goal is for the Senate to be able to head home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. “We have work to do,” Reid said last week. “I know people have schedules, but understand you better keep them pretty loose. Otherwise, you’re going to be missing some votes around here.”

The Senate’s schedule will mix messaging and legislating. By the end of the year, the Senate hopes to pass a House bill that would provide stricter oversight of prescription drugs, a defense authorization bill that could slap tighter sanctions on Iran and reform the military criminal justice system, and confirm one of Obama’s most consequential nominees, Janet Yellen, to head the Federal Reserve.

(PHOTOS: Senators vote on budget deal)

For its dash of political messaging, Senate Democrats will push to raise the minimum wage, a key White House and Democratic priority that is destined for failure from lack of GOP support. Senate Republicans are, likewise, sure to reject Obama’s nominees to the important D.C. Circuit Court. This all follows on the Senate passing ENDA, which House Republicans have no plans to pass.

Each of these moves serves its own purpose if not to enact permanent change in law: Senate leadership wants to portray Boehner as on the wrong side of the majority on gay rights, paint Republicans as on the side of Big Business rather than the working class and possibly ignite another fight over the Senate’s filibuster rules if the GOP continues to block nominees.

House Republican leaders, for their part, want to position the Democratic Senate as the object of obstruction. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office says the Senate has ignored 140 House bills, while the House hasn’t acted on just 28 Senate bills. Cantor’s office also points out Obama has signed 36 House bills, and 11 Senate bills.

There might be one area of overlap between the House and Senate’s agendas. This week, the House will take up a bill penned by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), which seeks to allow Americans to keep their canceled health insurance plans through next year. A similar bill sits in the Senate and has Democratic co-sponsors.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/congress-2013-done-legislating-99703.html#ixzz2kWzjl9om