You may have noticed there are pressing issues going on in our country at the moment. The economy is reportedly improving, though people still canít find jobs. If they do find a job, often they are underemployed and still not making what they need.† There have been record storms, bridges are collapsing, and there are millions of immigrants who would like to stop living in fear.
The current Congress has taken doing nothing to the extreme. While a little more than 5,000 bills have been introduced, the majority were referred to committee and never even discussed. Those that made it out of committee often couldn’t past procedural hurdles to get a final vote. Thus far only 22 bills have made it to the Presidentís desk for signature.
This Congress is not very good at passing laws.
What they are good at is discourse, divisiveness and delay.
While they go on their six week break to find out what their constituents have to say, much of the business crucial to our nationís well being is left unattended. Here are just ten of the things that are still undone.
Congress has not passed a budget in four years. They have passed continued spending resolutions to keep the government operating until the end of the fiscal year Ė September 30th.
2. Ending the Sequester
Congress still has not dealt with the effects of the last budget avoidance battle – the sequester. This was tacked onto the spending resolution of the last session requiring arbitrary cuts if a budget was not passed. The cuts went into effect in January and have resulted in furloughs, cuts in major social programs and a reduction in government services.
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, which passed the Senate in June, has been in the House for more than a month. They have yet to bring it to the floor for a vote, as they are busy trying to eliminate giving a path to citizenship for those currently here illegally.
There have been few jobs bills introduced, and fewer still have made it out of committee. None have been voted on by either chamber.
5. Gun Control
Just one month before the new session started, the country was rocked with another mass shooting, this time of elementary school students in Newtown, Connecticut. In the weeks after the shooting, Americans were calling for change on a national level. The Senate was able to get a bill to the floor that focused on national issues such as federal background checks, gun show sales and assault weapons. It wasnít able to get the procedural 60 votes needed to get to a final vote for passage.
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