Thursday, March 24, 2016

GOP-led Congress hits new low in accomplishing next to nothing

We hope you were satisfied with House Speaker Paul Ryan's big accomplishment this year: Managing to pass a completely partisan bill last week allowing him to politicize the Supreme Court immigration case United States v. Texas. Because that's about all you're going to get from this GOP-led Congress, reports Lauren French.

The biggest achievement in the House last week was a party-line vote to file a brief in a court case. In other action, GOP leaders all but conceded they won’t be able to pass a budget, the party’s first order of business, this year.

Over in the Senate, lawmakers have been busy debating whether it’s good or bad to sit on the president’s Supreme Court nominee for the next nine months.

Call it the Seinfeld Congress — all about nothing.

By the way, that Senate "debate" over whether to do something on Obama's nominee is actually more of a virtual debate, since the Senate recessed for vacation last week. Members of the House are getting ready to follow suit with a three-week vacation of their own.

The big action before the House adjourns this week is to keep the Federal Aviation Administration running for another four months — a lowest-common-denominator outcome brought about by Congress' inability to do anything more.

When it comes to more substantive bills — like helping Puerto Rico avoid default, tackling the Zika virus or finding money to help Flint fix its corroded water system — there's been hardly any movement.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to focus on passing individual appropriations bills that will almost certainly be dead on arrival in the lower chamber, since House Republicans completely scrapped passing a budget earlier this year.

So yeah, the Senate’s gonna waste a bunch of time doing something for nothing. Congress will most likely end up passing stopgap legislation to keep the government funded once again. Sound familiar?

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