Sunday, April 09, 2006

Work Less = Worthless

Is it remotely possible that our very own US Congress could accomplish less?

"Congressional schedule-keepers had planned for a two-week sprint between vacations to produce weighty reforms on immigration, pensions and tax policy. But Friday, at the finish line, all of those measures were missing."

"As for those who wonder why Congress is taking a two-week vacation with such major legislation unfinished, 'They've got a point,' said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz."

"Lawmakers stumbled in the final stretch on big ticket items like tax cuts and whether to spend more or less on health and education programs."

"Legislation assuring millions of baby boomers that the pensions they were promised by employers will be there when they retire was supposed to have been on its way to President Bush. Lawmakers are not even close on that."

" 'Major things just don't get through here,' Durbin said. 'It does reflect the election year. It also reflects that we don't do things as often as we should in a bipartisan fashion.' " Associated Press CLICK HERE

We certainly pay our Senators and Congressmen more than enough. Not only are their salaries reaching stratospheric levels, benefits actually pay virtually every living expense.

And let's not even bring up the meals, trips and goodies they get from lobbyists. It's a huge scandal. And if you don't believe me, just ask the Senators and Congress members themselves.

But did any meaningful lobbying reform pass our congress yet? Don't make me laugh.

I think we are actually paying for pontificating. We get loads of pontificating. And defecating.

But, the purpose of my column today is to once again decry the pure political maneuvering by our very worst Senator, Harry Reid. Harry has now climbed to the very top of my "least respected politician" list.

Earlier this week, the senate almost did the impossible. They almost accomplished the people's work. Two of the Senators I most respect, Edward Kennedy and John McCain cobbled together a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to pass an intelligent Immigration Reform Bill.

"Hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough earlier in the week, the immigration measure would have provided for stronger border security, regulated the future entry of foreign workers and created a complex new set of regulations for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally." Associated Press CLICK HERE

The bill could have made it through the senate. Bill Frist is incompetent as majority leader and would have never stopped the bill. Alas, Harry Reid is not incompetent. He's just a classic pond scum politician.

So, through deft maneuvering through the arcane Senate rules, Reid stopped the bill in it's tracks.

Why did Reid stop the bill that he, in theory should have supported? He wanted to keep the issue alive as a fall campaign advantage for Democrats. Immigration Reform is a club he wanted to use to hammer Republican opponents.

"In private as well as public, Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who heads the party's campaign effort, said they did not want to expose rank-and-file Democrats to votes that would force them to choose between border security and immigrant rights."

" 'Politics got ahead of policy on this,' Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., lamented."

" 'It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill,' asserted Senator Arlen Specter." Associated Press CLICK HERE

It's just so good to know we are paying for all this. And we are paying very well.