Friday, September 20, 2013

John Boehner’s Congress is a train wreck

Ezra Klein says John Boehner’s Congress is a train wreck

Begin with the simplest question: What have they gotten done?

  • The Senate managed to pass comprehensive immigration reform with bipartisan support. The House's effort has fallen apart.
  • The Senate passed a farm bill. The House failed at that, and has been breaking their farm bill into pieces and trying to pass them one at a time.
  • The Senate, at long last, passed a budget and moved to go to conference with the House. The House passed a budget and refused to go to conference with the Senate.
  • The list goes on. Gun control was a flop. The appropriations process has been a mess. We almost went over the fiscal cliff when Boehner's 'Plan B' failed. Sequestration, which Boehner once called 'devastating,' is now the law of the land. The Fed can't pursue the policies it thinks makes sense because it's scared that Congress is going to drive the economy into a ditch."

At first I thought this wasn't quite fair. The Senate has a strong Democratic majority, so why are their objectively bills better than the House's? Well, some are bipartisan, and the Senate does have to deal with the filibuster. But then there's also the shift in positions that the House leadership has taken.

Boener said "'We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.' So how many laws has Boehner repealed? Well, none. He's tried to repeal Obamacare a bunch of times, but Obamacare remains the law of the land. He hasn't managed, or even really tried, to repeal any other major laws at all." Then there's his shift on sequestration, once it was unthinkable, now it's the liberal compromise.

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