Lawmakers get back to doing nothing

 

Illustration by Matt Wuerker

Ultimately, they will be kicking the proverbial can down the road when it comes to legislating.

This is election season and they’d rather wait for the outcome.  After all if the GOP maintain their majority in the House and win a majority in the Senate after November 6, 2012, they can pretty much do whatever they chose to do.  The only opposition is a scenario where President Obama wins a second term.  In that case he will have his handy veto pen to oppose the wild and crazy stuff like ultrasounds before abortion and personhood amendments, to name a  few.  Under the same scenario of the GOP winning both houses and Romney winning the election, they will pass anything they damn well please and Romney will rubber stamp it.

So this is not the time for either side to be enthusiastic about coming from Summer Vacation.  However, both sides have to tackle the deficit issue.  Let’s see how that plays out…

Politico

With the convention pomp and pageantry over, another production now begins on Capitol Hill — this one featuring meaningless show votes and theatrical hearings.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) will hold an oversight hearing this week titled: The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power. House GOP leaders will try to pass a bill to roll back automatic defense cuts — a bid to undo a law many of them supported in the first place.

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will continue to push a central plank of the Romney-Ryan campaign: a vote to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. Democrats will engage in the game, too, putting up jobs bills that have no Republican support and little chance of passing.

To add more fuel to the “do-nothing Congress” label, at least one chamber — the Democratic-led Senate — could adjourn as early as Sept. 21 for another seven-week recess, coming on the heels of the five-week August recess. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be playing “prevent defense” through the Nov. 6 election, GOP aides said.

“Taking their cues from a president who recently said the single greatest regret of [his] tenure was that he didn’t tell the American people enough stories,” McConnell wrote in an op-ed POLITICO, “Democrats appear ready to ride out the rest of the year spinning tall tales that the economy is doing fine while doing virtually nothing about the problems we face as a nation.”

Don’t blame us, Democrats say. The show votes are an “example of Republicans wasting time that should be spent on finding solutions to the country’s problems,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told POLITICO. “We’re up to zero votes on Obama’s jobs bills and more than 30 votes to repeal Obamacare.”

California Rep. Mike Honda, a Democratic National Committee vice chairman, said not even returning to Washington could dampen his mood after last week’s celebration in Charlotte, N.C.

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