April 11, 2007

Fun Facts About The 110th Congress

The Democrats won majorities in both chambers of Congress in part by promising that they would change the way Congress conducts business, both in terms of ethics and productivity. Calling the Republican-led 109th a "Do-Nothing Congress", Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid promised more action, longer work weeks, and a blockbuster first 100 days.

How has that worked out? Not particularly well. The 110th has managed to get all of two bills passed into law by the end of their first 100 days:

  • H.J.Res.20 - Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007 (02/15/07)
  • NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007 (04/10/07)

    That's it -- one continuing appropriation and the NATO act. The continuing resolution was itself a leftover from the 109th Congress, about which the Democrats complained endlessly in the opening weeks of the 110th. At least it gave them something to do.

    CQ readers might ask what previous Congresses did in their first 100 days. After all, each session requires some organizing efforts, committee assignments, lobbyist meetings, and the like. The Repubican-led 108th still managed to get a couple of more bills approved into law:

  • S.23 - A bill to provide for a 5-month extension of the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002 and for a transition period for individuals receiving compensation when the program under such Act ends. (01/08/03)

  • H.J.Res.1 - Making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2003, and for other purposes. (01/10/03)

  • H.R. 11 - National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2003 (01/13/03)

  • H.J.Res.13 - Making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2003, and for other purposes. 02/07/03)

  • H.J.Res.18 - Making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2003, and for other purposes.(02/07/03)

  • H.R.16 - To authorize salary adjustments for Justices and judges of the United States for fiscal year 2003 (02/13/03)

  • H.J.Res.2 - Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (02/20/03)

  • S.141 - A bill to improve the calculation of the Federal subsidy rate with respect to certain small business loans, and for other purposes. (02/25/03)

  • H.R.395 - Do-Not-Call Implementation Act (03/11/03)

  • H.R.1559 - Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (04/16/03)

    Even the much-maligned 109th got at least as much done:

  • H.R.1160 - Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (02/18/05)

  • S.5 - Welfare Reform Extension Act of 2005 (03/25/05)

    The most amusing point of this post? Ted Kennedy wrote a month ago in the Washington Post that "In my 45 years in Congress, I have never seen the Senate turn so rapidly from stalemate toward real progress," and that "the election replaced a do-nothing Congress with the kind of Congress that our Founding Fathers intended". Really? Our Founding Fathers intended for Congress to spend its time trying to undermine the executive branch and to intrude on its Article II powers during wartime?

    The truth is that the Democrats, rather than fulfill their electoral promise of moderation and productivity, have chosen gridlock and extremism. They have wasted their 100 days on partisan sniping and legislation crafted to appease their radical base. As a result, their first 100 days have been remarkably barren of actual action but overflowing with accusations and pomposity.

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    » Do Nothing Congress? from J's Cafe Nette
    Go check out Captain Ed’s post to see a comparison of the first 100 days of the current congress compared to the 108th and 109th congresses’ (the previous two congresses) first 100 days. Gee, I thought we replaced our ‘do nothingR... [Read More]

    » 2007.04.12 Politcal Roundup from Bill's Bites
    Updated from the top. Please treat this as a blog-within-a-blog, come back often, and scroll down till you hit something you saw on your last visit. McCain Unbound Fun Facts About The 110th Congress [Read More]

    Comments (18)

    Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 5:55 PM

    Shucks, I love this word "majority."

    It's like gaining five pounds, and jumping five sizes. While all you do is suck in. And, try to hold your breath.

    You'd have no trouble identifying what women DO in a whore house. Even though some of them, dressed for the street, can enter a Park Avenue Building; and you'd think they lived there. And, weren't visiting clients.

    But for whores there's only scorn. While in the process men get relief.

    While we send worse than whores to congress; and the only thing you're "relieved of" is money in your wallet. Without the joy of "relief."

    Most people evenutally get wise enough that they know what they're buying when they go into the marketplace.

    But the reason the HOUSE is one big trampoline in the bedroom, is that BOTH SIDES are only there for the pork.

    And, the ways they work? Is to continually take as much of it as they can; while a Tip O'Neill will blab about "all politics being local."

    And, where, in all honesty, I marvel at Ted Kennedy's liver. It's genetically altered. Most people who drank as much as he would be dead. Not just pickled all the time.

    And, talking about Teddy; do you notice he loves the pork barrels, even though he's rich?

    So, both sides of congress are the same. A group of elected people. Who want most of all to fool you.

    Some do.

    Some don't.

    But the worst of them have "safe seats!" Who made Murtha, for instance, untouchable?

    And, how does an incompetent like pelosi get voted into a senior chair? Don't give me this crap that it's a woman's turn. She got "in" because separate from our Constitution; and what we understand politics to mean; we've got a house-full of critters who are out to steal all of us blind.

    And, not just blind in the pocket book. But blind like religious zealots who once killed innocents; claiming they were ridding the world of witches.

    Turns out the bad apples are FEW; in comparison to many.

    But there's a trick at play. They gotta fool ya. To get you to cooperate.

    No. It doesn't work if you choose not to vote.

    Voting, on occasion, helps us separate out the very bad, from the levers of power.

    And, we're getting the hang of it, sort'a.

    These days, politicians are worried, not just about their hair. Not just about "bimbo eruptions." But, realistically fearful of voters.

    It's why they lie.

    And, why so far no one wants to be a messenger, delivering the truth.

    2008, for the HOUSE, is an open ticket. No guarantees.

    But for the senate? Oh, boy. 24 GOP kiesters, versus only 12 donks, running. And, they expect to do better, next time.

    Unless, of course, ONE PERSON ARRIVES, who sails above the others. To capture mainstream attention.

    Lincoln learned, long ago, that even if he wasn't the "favorite." Came crunch time, he got the votes of professional WHIGsters, in the "whig-wam" ... because without a president in the White House, they were losing the life blood of being in office.

    Self-Interest usually performs well. It can out-run the bad guys who don't care a whit for their own local voters.

    Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:06 PM

    "Our Founding Fathers intended for Congress to spend its time trying to undermine the executive branch and to intrude on its Article II powers during wartime?"

    I think the Founding Fathers would have wanted Congress to challenge the President at every turn, actually. They didn't want an all-powerful sovereign with a lax view toward due process or that viewed the executive branch as a way to strengthen party -- or personal -- loyalty.

    Far from a perfect Congress, but one that's in battle against the executive is precisely what the Founders envisioned.


    Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:08 PM

    Captain, my captain, when this congress has wasted 6 YEARS we will dicuss their sucess or failure. Until then its just gop spin because the gop is in freefall and needs something to pin on the donks. Please find something with more teeth. I do enjoy your blog though.

    Posted by Jeanette [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:09 PM

    But, but...they have a MANDATE! What that means is they can tell the president there's a new sheriff in town and then traipse off to Syria to sing Kumbaya with Assad.

    Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:17 PM

    Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth here!

    The Congress doing nothing is about the best thing we can ask for. Every time that pack of crooked wardheelers "does something", it almost invariably means:

    1. Adding to the size of the already bloated federal government

    2. Adding yet another layer of regulation to our lives

    3. Increasing the deficit and the tax burden (I don't say "or" because Congress NEVER actually reduces the amount of money they spend)

    4. F***ing things up in general

    If the Congress would content themselves with simply making speeches, buggering off to Timbuktu to hobnob with bin Laden, and chasing their pages and aides around, the country would be far, far better off. Let's encourage this kind of do-nothing attitude on their part, not complain about it.

    Posted by Jeanette [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:25 PM

    They can't be bothered with legislation when they have a war to manage and foreign policy decisions to make.

    Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 6:30 PM

    I think the Founding Fathers intended Congress to reside in their home districts, hold real jobs in the private sector and only report to DC for legislative sessions.

    Central to the wisdom for that desire was to keep the politicians from getting to know each other or lobbyists too well. Isolation from the home districts and local level accountability has predictably resulted in military bills bearing greater focus on agricultural subsidies than providing for the common defense.

    Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:00 PM

    More gridlock please.

    Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:10 PM

    CE nailed this story to the point where there simply isn't much left to say... The Democrats spouted off like a well tuned set of bag pipes; telling anybody who would listen that they would show the world how to govern; they only needed 100 days to provide the proof.

    What happened; just a bunch of out of tune bag pipes; nothing we didn't already know.

    Posted by Mwalimu Daudi [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:19 PM

    I love it when CD talks they way he does - it helps to explain why the Democrat Congress's approval numbers over the last month are mostly in the low 30s. The last two - by the LA Times and USA Today (not exactly the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) are typical - 33% and 34% respectively. And folks say Bush has lousy poll numbers!

    Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 7:51 PM

    Oy. I wish we had gridlock!

    We don't!

    We have ostensibly some GOP members, who wear a party label, because they need one to get elected. They need a place where their name hangs down.

    But they've got no morals. Great looking hair, though!

    And, they know al the parlor tricks.

    What you don't see is how fast they disrobe to take advantage of the perks, of getting into bed with "special interests." You're like their wives, in many cases. THE LAST THING ON THEIR MINDS, when they got hot.

    Of course, when our Founding Fathers dealt with starting our Republic, they worried that government was EVIL. A necessary evil. Which is why you want to keep it LIMITED.

    The donks, however. Who have lost their "popularity edge," figured out that with the media presstitutes, they can still manipulate things. One district at a time. One dead dog voting. At a time.

    And, they're motivated!

    You don't think so?

    You have no idea how much "old money" wants to keep it that way! Wants to curtail all the good things about opportunity in our world. And, they've now got a religion "environmentalism," to scare the jack rabbits out of ya.

    SOmetimes, people who should know better, just get scared. And, start shaking in their boots.

    Of course, the terror, should you swing back the curtain and look. Why, you'd see algore. THAT'S ONE OF THE IDIOTS PULLING THE LEVER!

    Well, it's a contest.

    Wrestling's one, too.

    So is prize-fighting.

    Seems in a real man's world such competitions are what brings people together.

    Scientific meetings, like slide-rules, just aren't for everyone.

    And, sometimes? Someone comes along, and blows your sox off with his talents.

    We've had our heroes. In WW2 we excelled. Heroes up and down the line.

    And, up ahead? Just someone willing to fight for what's right; and not just be the Realtor for the House of Saud.

    Oddly enough, you have no idea the size of the money bets being made by the likes of george Soros, and Theresa Heinz-Kerry. They want a lot! And, they're counting on having enough money to play with.

    Well? Ken Lay had a lot of money. He played. And, then he killed himself. Because in the world of "getting enough rope," there was a loophole that if he could drop dead before he went to jail, the entire record he amassed, got erased.

    The Man Upstairs is the best thing we have for consequences getting delivered over time. It's practically a physics formula. Whatever you put "on top," over time; is a division problem. Time just slices and dices the most evil men's dreams, away. Doesn't mean they'll stop on my account.

    Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 8:59 PM

    Did I miss the part where the President vetoed things during the first 100 days? Because I don't remember the President actually using his veto power.

    This means in the first 100 days, this Congress has sent a total of two bills to the President's desk.

    Two bills in 100 days.

    This is by far the most do-nothing Congress in the history of Congress. Two bills in 100 days has to be a new record for partisan gridlock, sloth, graft, bribery, and as we've seen, treachery and betrayal of America.

    America, YOU put the Democrats in charge because "they would be better than the GOP".

    In every metric possible this is the WORST CONGRESS OF ALL TIME.

    It has wasted the taxpayer's time, money, patience, blood, and sweat on passing two bills in 100 days.

    If anyone else in America had a record like that, they would be FIRED.

    In 2008, you will get your chance to do just that. The Democrats must never be allowed to be in power again. Ever.

    Posted by trapeze [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 11, 2007 11:58 PM

    I agree with docjim505 100%

    If we have to be stuck with Nancy and Co. running the House it is a GOOD thing that they are spinning their wheels. Let them pound sand.

    Posted by droog [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 5:20 AM

    Which is your source, Captain?

    Wikipedia shows only your two bills, but if you click their link to its source, THOMAS, we find 17 laws that have been made public. Sounds like the Do-Nothing-er 110th Congress is indeed busy, so much so that they have no time to update their Wikipedia page.


    Posted by droog [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 5:30 AM

    D'oh, I used the wrong tags. Anyway, here's the full link to the Wiki page, click from there on to THOMAS:


    Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 5:51 AM

    Made it into law, Droog. Made it into law. Not just bills and resolutions passed by each chamber.

    Posted by droog [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 6:40 AM

    These 17 are tagged as passed, signed by the President and then "Made Public Law" number such and such.

    Again, what is your source?

    Posted by Country Fox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 12:42 PM

    Captain - I hate to say it but 'droog' makes an excellent point. Out of those 17 bills that indeed became law 10 deserve special mention:

    One National Recreation Area was renamed
    Six Post Offices named
    Two Courthouses named
    One Federal Building named

    I sure hope they take a long spring break cuz them congress critters must be totally exhausted.