So, I don’t know how aware you are of this, but the 2010 and onward Congress has been one of the most objectively abysmal Congresses in the history of the United States. And yet, despite being horrifically awful, since the November elections it has somehow managed to continue to get worse. The GOP is absolutely imploding in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, with several Republicans refusing to vote John Boehner back in as House Majority Leader. Heck, some are even finally recognizing that they should all be fired. (His reasonings are, of course, not that sound, but his conclusion that the entirety of Congress should be fired seems about right with only a few exceptions, like Senator Al Franken.)
So, how exactly has Congress achieved their most monumental feat and gotten worse, ringing in the new year with absolute aplomb? (That last word is a joke, to be sure.)
Well, first of all, they managed to let the Violence Against Women Act suddenly become unfunded. It is perhaps the easiest, most bipartisan bill on the books, and all Congress had to do was say “Should we keep funding it? Yes.” But they couldn’t manage even that. Instead, programs proven to work all over the nation will now find their funds dried up, causing job loss and, oh yeah, women in abusive relationships to be severely curtailed in their options for help. Bravo, Congress.
And then, there’s Hurricane Sandy. Sandy, which rather thoroughly ravaged New York and New Jersey, leaving many homeless and somewhat hopeless, seems to be a simple cause. Vote to supply Sandy victims with federal money. It’s something that tends to happen with most every big natural disaster, and people don’t tend to complain too much.
Yet the House of Representatives majority party (that’d be the GOP led by Boehner for those playing at home) decided, after being thoroughly shellacked over the fiscal cliff, to not vote on the Senate’s Sandy relief bill. After popular opinion and massive in-party vitriol punched them in the face a few times, Boehner decided to let the House vote on Sandy relief. But not what the Senate had passed. No, they voted on a one page, two paragraph bill for $9.7 billion, and even then, some 67 Republicans couldn’t vote for it. Apparently because it had a bunch of pork attached. In that two paragraphs.
Bring it on, 2013. We’ve got a bumpy ride ahead.