Do Nothing Congress Takes a Summer Break

Posted by Jack

A do nothing Congress…

Although this is an election year, many members of Congress may not be too eager to meet with constituents during their five-week summer recess.
Wall Street Journal-NBC News polling out this week showed that only 2% of Americans are very satisfied with our political system, 79% are dissatisfied and 74% of voters believe Congress has been unproductive this year.

And they’re right. As of last Wednesday this Congress had enacted only 142 laws, according to Pew Research Center. That’s the fewest of any Congress in 20 years. And just 108 of them were substantive pieces of legislation. Pew also found that the House and Senate have been in session for fewer days and hours this year than most sessions of Congress.
Some might ask why, exactly, Congress needs a vacation. It’s required by law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires the House and Senate to take a recess for the entire month of August, until after Labor Day.

Members of Congress used to spend much of their time away from Washington holding open forums and town-hall meetings as well as campaigning in public. But those activities have waned. Fewer members hold truly open meetings. Most fill their district schedules with events with business leaders, local and state elected officials, supporters and fundraisers.

Avoiding disaffected voters and the opportunity for unpleasant sound bites has taken precedence over meeting constituents.

RELATED BONUS STORY by Ken Ackerman: What’s the best job on earth? Why, of course, to be a Member of the United States Congress.

This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proudly announced the calendar for the new Congress in 2013. Here’s the link. Working days for the entire year total 126, leaving 239 days off. This includes virtually the whole month of August, two weeks around Easter/Passover, not a single five-day work week and (God forbid) no weekends.

Members insist, of course, that they accomplish lots during those recesses — or “District work periods” as they call them. And Congressional staff members, to their credit, work extremely hard with plenty of late nights and long hours.

For this, Members of Congress receive an annual salary of $174,000 ($223,500 for the Speaker), and, if the past few years are any guide, they will enact no budget, no regular appropriations bills, nor other key legislation. (That is, the House will pass bills that die in the Senate, Senate-passed bills will die in the House, and occasionally they will agree on naming a Post Office if such things still exist in 2014.) They will, however, take plenty of taxpayer-funded “fact finding trips,” hold plenty of showboat hearings, and spend much of their time hawking for campaign contributions.

obamavacaNEXT BONUS STORY: The Obamas have spent over 44 million dollars in taxpayer money on travel and vacations. Some are even calling him the “most well-traveled, expensive” president in our nation’s history.

As Americans head off for the long holiday weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the president’s holiday spending.

Our president vacations a lot — we’re talking $44,351,777.12 worth of “a lot,” with most expenses charged to the American taxpayer.

As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009. The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Do Nothing Congress Takes a Summer Break

  1. bob says:

    What they should be doing is repealing Obammiecare.

    All we here about these days is what a stunning success Obammiecare is.

    Well, much of Obammiecare is to take effect after Obammie is out of office.

    What has taken effect is a stunning failure and this proves it. This should be heard by every American.

    And these are the gummit’s on numbers (Philly Fed), not some right wing think tank.

    Obamacare Manufacturing Facts: 85% of Firms Raise Premiums, 91% Raise Deductibles, 74% Raise Out of Pocket Maximum, 15% Decrease Employment

    A special question on the impact of Obamacare on businesses in the August Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey shows the stunning failure of Obamacare

  2. Tina says:

    “As of last Wednesday this Congress had enacted only 142 laws, according to Pew Research Center. That’s the fewest of any Congress in 20 years.”

    This can be viewed as a win of sorts; at least they haven’t added to the damage. Of course there’s no way to pass anything substantive anyway with this bunch and that guy in the WH.

    Survey reads like it was all predictable…that’s cause it was.

  3. Peggy says:

    We all know it’s not quantity that is important, it’s quality that counts. Congress naming post offices doesn’t add to their productivity to make our country better.

    I wouldn’t care if Obama did 200 EO to increase the effectiveness of his administrative duties, but when he reached over into the duties of Congress he overstepped his authority.

    Here’s a little pep talk from Kid President we could all learn from.

  4. Peggy says:

    Off topic, but news worthy.

    A massive solar power plant is petitioning to use natural gas to maintain the facility which will “emit 94,749 more tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of emissions from about 16,500 automobiles.”

    And the not surprising news is the company is connected to Harry Reid.

    Liberals’ Darling $2.2 Billion Solar Plant Suddenly Needs More of the One Thing You Would Never Expect:

    “Solar power is supposed to replace fossil fuels, right?

    The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station concentrates sunshine, heating water and converting the steam into electricity.

    But lately, it hasn’t been getting enough sunshine — despite being located in the blistering Mojave Desert southwest of Las Vegas — so the plant’s operators are asking for permission to bring in more of another fuel source: natural gas.

    As the Arizona Daily Independent reported:

    Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas and to emit 94,749 more tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of emissions from about 16,500 automobiles.

    If the permit is approved, then this “solar” plant will produce about 35 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels.

    You may remember Ivanpah as the plant that has been setting birds on fire with the power of the sun.”

    Ivanpah solar plant wants to burn more natural gas:

    Harry Reid’s connection to BrightSource.

    Harry Reid Is The Real Domestic Terrorist:

    “The legal battle and the Government/Bundy stand-off has been the focus of the media and the politicians. But the real issue is seeded in the reasons why Harry Reid is now pro-actively involved and is attempting to align the public on his side by associating the Bundy people with actual terrorists. The truth is, Harry Reid is using his position and his control of the BLM to terrorize public citizens and abuse the taxpayers.

    It turns out that areas of BLM land in Nevada and 5 other western States have been designated as Solar Energy Zones (SEZs). You can read about it here: SEZs. It also turns out that Harry Reid is connected with a company called BrightSource Energy, which is seeking to develop solar energy projects.

    Reid became intimate with BrightSource via his connection to Nevada developer Harvey Whittemore. Currently Wittemore is appealing a conviction for making illegal contributions to Harry Reid. Whittemore is the developer of Coyote Springs. Reid pro-actively arranged for land swap deals with the BLM that enabled Whittemore to start developing Coyote Springs, a Whittemore development estimated to cost $30 billion. There’s a golf course there but the development has never gotten off the ground. Ironically, the Coyote Springs development trampled all over a desert turtle protected area, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone.”

Comments are closed.