6. Farm Bill
The Agriculture, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 passed the Senate and was sent to the House in June. The farm bill is normally a continual renewal, with little disagreement in its reauthorization. Not the case this year. The House narrowly passed its own version, eliminating portions that have been included for decades, including the SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) program. There is doubt that the two versions can be reconciled. Furthermore, the White House has threatened a veto of the House version.
7. Voting Rights
Even before the Supreme Court gutted the Voter Rights Act of 1965 in June, several bills were introduced to address voting issues, including redistricting, voter registration and access to voting. These were all aimed at making voting easier and fairer, none have made out of committee.
As bridges collapse, our aging infrastructure is continuing to be ignored. President Obama has repeatedly talked of the need to create a program that focuses just on that – much like the WPA program of the 1930s and 1940s where millions were put to work on public works programs. Congress has not moved forward on any proposal.
9. Women’s Rights
Equal pay, equal rights, pregnant workers – the bills have been introduced, but none have made it out of committee. Though to be fair, the Equal Rights Amendment has been on the agenda since 1923. These things take time.
10. Climate Change
Yeah, we’re still waiting.
It’s only been seven months and there is a little less than eighteen months left in the session. That’s plenty of time to get things done. Of course, when they return on September 6th their first priority is to deal with the budget, which needs to be completed by September 30th to avoid a government shutdown.
Did I mention it has been four years since Congress has passed a budget?
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