Thom Hartmann asks "What name would you give our latest Do-Nothing congress?"
Congress is on track to have one of the least productive years in modern history, having passed only 52 bills since January, just 44 which are considered “substantive”—far below the average of 70 in the years 1990-2012. In comparison, at this point in President George W. Bush’s presidency, Congress had passed 113 bills.
"The gridlock has meant that major issues – some with likely benefits for members of both parties – have been left on the table.
The Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation earlier this year but prospects for a vote in the House are slim. House Republicans have voted some 47 times to either repeal or somehow change the newly enacted health-care law, efforts that have been shelved in the upper chamber.
That sets the backdrop for an election year in 2014. With all 435 House seats up for re-election and 33 Senate seats at stake next November, the balance of power in Congress is very much in play.
Could there be another reason for the lack of substantive laws? Perhaps the seeming eagerness of lawmakers to hightail it out of Washington for recess?
So far, the Senate has been in session 144 days this Congress, while the House has been in for 147 legislative days. They’re still scheduled to vote on at least eight more days before the end of the year."
After Senator Harry Reid moved to eliminate filibusters for most presidential nominees, the GOP is even less likely to work with Democrats after the recess. So next year isn't looking much better for the 113th.