The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Worst Congressional Start...Ever?
"We are making progress for the American people, governing effectively and getting results. Our work is not over, it has begun," said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland."I've been here 26 years; I think this first five months may be the most productive five months that I've spent as a member of ... Congress," he said.
The most productive? Until this week, the only accomplishments that Pelosi & Co could highlight was (a) a funding bill left over from the last session, (b) a minor NATO restructuring plan that had no opposition, and (c) a number of bills that renamed federal property like post offices. The Democrats spent almost four months playing around with the Iraq supplemental, trying desperately to craft it in such a fashion as to force a withdrawal and blame it on George Bush, only to get outplayed by the White House.
Even this one accomplishment is hardly noteworthy. The Democrats could probably have passed the minimum-wage hike on its own months ago. All they had to do to get White House buy-in was to include tax relief for small businesses to offset the costs, which they did in this bill anyway. Bush indicated early in the session that he would not veto a package that included both, and the wage hike has enough Republican support to carry the day in the Senate.
Steny Hoyer tried hard to sell the first four months of this session as a proud moment in Democratic history, but it has been a complete embarassment. They folded on Iraq, they dithered on ethics legislation, and they accomplished almost none of their rapid-fire agenda that they claimed would pass within the first 100 hours of the 110th. Over 150 days later, most of it remains on the table, and the "Do-Nothing" insult they threw around freely during the midterms has stuck to them with a vengeance.