Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category
By John Feehery
So, last night the weathermen all said that we could get anywhere from 2 to 5 inches in the Washington D.C. area.
Around 5 am, when it became clear that we were getting closer to 2 inches than 5 inches, the Federal Government shut down and with it most schools around the region.
We will be lucky to barely get an inch of snow in DC and it will all melt by 5 pm today. (more…)
By John Feehery
Ten years ago, Congress was in the process of passing a controversial piece of legislation, which the president would sign on Dec. 8: the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act.
This measure somehow survived a series of harrowing, near-death experiences that would have made Bill, of “Schoolhouse Rock” fame (“I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill”), break down in tears. (more…)
By John Feehery
My 7 year-old son plays for a Little League team, the Angels, which is a pretty funny name for a bunch of rambunctious little boys.
Baseball isn’t the fastest game in the world, especially for 7 year-olds, and the kids can get kind of kooky on the bench when we are up to bat.
One of the coaches for the Angels is a mother to one of the boys. She is the bench coach, and her job is to keep the kids from pouring water on one another, stop them from hitting their teammates (unintentionally, of course) with a baseball, and otherwise keep the kids in line.
In other words, she is the adult who keeps an eye on the kids.
You ever think that the Federal government needs some adult supervision, especially now that government has shut down?
The President is supposed to be the adult and Congress is supposed to act like Little Leaguers.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama is like the kid who won’t let another kid use the baseball helmet he got from his parents. And he won’t negotiate over it.
In fact, he won’t negotiate at all, over anything.
That’s unsustainable and he should know it.
Conservatives who threaten to shut the government down unless they get their way on Obamacare are no better. They are like the kids who won’t give the baseball back to the coach unless they get to play in the infield.
The lack of maturity coming from the Congress does remind me of the lack of maturity that sometimes comes from the 7 year-olds on the Angels. The big difference? The kids on the Angels are 7.
The other big difference, of course, is that the various tempter tantrums that infect the battle between the legislative and executive branches is the real world implications of the Congressional fight.
When kids act like kids, there is an expectation that the kids will eventually grow up.
When Congress acts like children, jobs are lost, the economy stalls, and people lose faith in their government.
All of this dysfunction could help a female candidate like Hillary Clinton. I say that with no relish, because I am not a big fan of the former Secretary of State.
But if the men in our government continue to act like the boys on my son’s baseball team, voters might decide they need a bench coach like the Angel’s bench, a woman who can keep the boys in line.
By John Feehery
Dear Representative or Senator:
Welcome back to Washington.
I hope you had a nice break and you are ready to work hard on behalf of the American people. The first step in working hard for the people is to ignore just about everything they are telling you back home.
Yep, the President sure did step in it by making bold threats on red-lines and everything. And yes, your constituents want to have nothing to do with Syria.
Yes, they are tired of war. They think Iraq and Afghanistan was one big cruel joke that wasted a lot of money and cost a lost of lives. And to them, this is a civil war within a country far, far away. Why get involved?
It’s a good question, one you should ask the President’s people when they come knocking at your door. If they come knocking at your door. Yes, I understand that you probably don’t know who in the White House is supposed to be contacting you about these kinds of things, because the White House probably doesn’t know who is supposed to be contacting you. Yes, they are incompetent over there.
But the fact of the matter is that the President needs your help, even if he has campaigned against you, and thinks that you are the root of all evil. We can’t have a President looking really, really weak in the eyes of the world. We can’t have Vladimir Putin and Bashir Assad making fun of our President.
Because if they get away with that, just imagine what that new guy in Iran will do.
We don’t have a lot of time, with all of the holidays and such, to keep the government open, so as you are trying to decide how to vote in Syria, please keep an open mind about keeping the government open.
No, we aren’t going to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution. The President isn’t going to go for that, and it couldn’t pass the Senate anyway. I know that some of your colleagues keep saying that we can fund the rest of government except for the new health care law implementation, but that’s not how the law works. Most of the funding comes through mandatory spending, so this law is going forward unless we repeal it, and that’s not going to happen. Not with Mr. Obama in the White House and Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader.
I know that some of your constituents insist on this whole defunding thing, and you may have seen some ads run by conservatives claiming that conservatives like Mitch McConnell are not really conservative. Do me a favor and just ignore all of that chatter. It’s meaningless drivel from a bunch of groups that are trying to raise money from some of your most unsuspecting constituents.
While were on the topic of meaningless drivel, get ready to add a few more zeroes on to the national debt. Yep, it’s that time of the year again when the debt limit has to be increased. I know, I know, you hate to vote to extend the debt limit, and yes, I know, when the President was a Senator, he voted against extending that debt limit.
But, we have been piling more debt on our children for close to two centuries. In fact, the last President to pay off the entire debt was Andrew Jackson. And after he did that, our country went into a big depression. So, paying off the debt is not really realistic. Just do the right thing, and vote for to extend it at some point in time. Otherwise, Social Security checks won’t be issued.
Speaking of paying off debt and balancing budgets, we aren’t going to balance the budget by cutting your pay in half or by getting rid of all foreign aid. And we aren’t going to balance the budget by keeping the government’s hands off of the Medicare system. I know you get a lot of good ideas from your constituents, but keep in mind, on most issues, your constituents don’t know anything. They really don’t. So, don’t spend too much time listening to them.
And don’t spend too much time listening to constituents who say that those damn Mexicans have taken their jobs away, when those same constituents wouldn’t be caught dead working in a chicken factory or in the fields picking corn or at a motel, cleaning rooms. When immigration comes to the House floor, don’t listen to those folks back home who want to deport all 11 million illegal aliens, because if we do that, our economy will collapse.
Together, we will have a lot of fun this Fall, backing our President on Syria, keeping the government open, paying our nation’s debt (compiled over the last decade or so), and if we are lucky, getting the chance to fix our broken immigration system. Should be a great time.
PS: You might want to turn off your cell phone and not check your Facebook page or your Twitter feed until after this all gets over with.