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Monday, August 21, 2006

Politics: DO-NOTHING REPUBLICAN CONGRESS IGNORES PRIORITIES OF AMERICAN FAMILIES

THE REVIEWS ARE IN:

Do-Nothing Republican Congress Ignores Priorities of American Families

Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), Pathetic: Congress earns 'do-nothing' label

"On issues ranging from energy reform to reining in lobbyists to controlling immigration, Congress has failed to pass substantive legislation, despite one-party control." [8/6/06]

Baltimore Sin, A pathetic performance

"Led by Republicans divided among themselves, stained by scandal and fleeing the stigma of a flailing president, this Congress is heading shortly into its campaign summer recess with almost nothing to show for more than 19 months on the payroll. The first branch of Congress, as the Constitution defines it, has failed miserably to deal with such top concerns as the conflicts in Iraq and Lebanon, soaring gasoline prices and uncontrolled immigration. Nor have worries about health care, education, disappearing pensions or the growing gap between rich and poor gotten adequate attention. Congress hasn't even delivered on the ethics and process reforms promise with such piousness months ago when its vulnerability to corruption was exposed by an ongoing Justice Department probe...Instead of devoting itself to such substantive issues, Congress has spent an inordinate amount of time on symbolic trivialities: constitutional amendments to prevent gay marriage and flag-burning, a Pledge Protection Act to block federal courts from striking the 'under God' language, and other no-chance proposals simply aimed at currying favor with single-issue voters." [7/24/06]

San Diego Union-Tribune, Congress fails to address many major issues

"Immigration reform is the most high-profile issue Congress can't seem to come to grips with, but there are many others. And to prove how serious the House is about solving them, it has begun a five-week summer recess...Congress has barely begun to address issues related to the war in Iraq...Congress has also failed to send to the president 12 appropriations bills needed to fund the government for the fiscal year...Another issue that Congress did not see fit to address is health care reform." [8/4/06]

USA Today, So much to do, so little time...so Congress skips town

"As Congress settles into its month-long August break, it's hard to shake the feeling that the House and Senate haven't earned their time off. Instead of tending to basics and working out differences on divisive but vital issues such as immigration, members have spent much of the past several months in political posturing and time-wasting debates over non-essential issues...Republicans shoulder most of the blame for this do-little record, since they are in charge." [8/7/06]

New York Times, Earning that Congressional Raise

"Congress has just chopped a week off what already is a notoriously skimpy work calender so that lawmakers will have extra campaign time at home this fall. The Capitol will recess at the end of September, leaving a world of unfinished business. You'll be relieved to know, however, that among the House items already seen to was a pay increase---2% over the current base salary of $168,500." [7/13/06]

Miami Herald, Ethics reform: A promise unkept

"As Congress prepares to leave Washington for the traditional August recess, there is no better example of a critical issue that has not been resolved than the failure to enact meaningful lobbying and ethics reform. Deadlines have been missed, promises of reform have fallen flat, and there is nothing to show the electorate. When it comes to fixing the way it does business, Congress has been sadly incorrigible." [7/26/06]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Just go home

"There are two ways of looking at this: The first is that we hired this bunch of yahoos to work for the people and there are still chores to do. On the other hand, it can also be argued that the sooner this bunch leaves Washington, D.C., the better." [7/28/06]

Herald-Leader (Lexington, KY), Less hot air in D.C.

"It's been a grueling summer for Congress, slaving over such urgent matters as the Pledge of Allegiance, flag desecration and gay marriage. Now our elected representatives are looking forward to a month off to campaign and grab some R&R." [8/4/06]

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