Congress Gives Up on 2014, Hopes for a Better 2015

United States Congress

United States Congress

(Washington, DC) – The House of Representatives has given up – just 49 days into 2014 – on working on any major legislation for the rest of the year, choosing instead to focus on what’s really important: naming post offices and winning elections that are eight months away.

Members of Congress were elected by the people and sent to Washington to do the people’s business. But now don’t want to do the people’s business in fear of being thrown out of office and no longer being available to do the people’s business.

In the House, 218 votes are needed to advance legislation. “It’s all about getting to 218, and we’re simply not there,” said a House Republican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But if we can stab the 14 ‘problem’ Republican members in the back and get rid of them in November, the 114th Congress should be able to get things done.

Of the 435 members in the House, Republicans have control by a margin of 232-200; there are currently three vacancies. Across the sprawling Capitol building, Democrats control the 100-member Senate by a margin of 53-45; there are two Independents

John Boehner (R-OH)

John Boehner

On the House majority’s wish-list:

  • Overhaul of the tax code
  • Vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)
  • Pass comprehensive immigration reform
  • Vote to repeal Obamacare
  • Pass Articles of Impeachment for President Obama (D-IL/Kenya)
  • Vote to repeal Obamacare
  • Pass tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations
  • Vote to repeal Obamacare
  • Pass XL Pipeline legislation
  • Vote to repeal Obamacare
  • Pass deregulation legislation for industry polluters and financial institutions
  • Vote to repeal Obamacare

Some Republicans place the blame outside the confines of the House. “It’s a symptom of divided government,” said a Republican operative, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Once we win the Senate in 2014, and kick the Kenyan Muslim out of the White House in 2016, we’ll be in much better shape.”

“Obama has promised to act unilaterally,” said a spokesman for a Republican House member, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He has said he’ll use Executive Orders to legislate. And he’s doing this because we allegedly haven’t done anything meaningful in the past few years. Just who does he think he is?!”

Many Democrats blame Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). “He doesn’t want anything to do with us,” said a Democratic House member, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And we can’t go to see him in his office. He’s a chain-smoker, so when you walk in, you can’t even see him sitting there. The only chance you have is if he’s locked in his tanning bed, but that’s really not a comfortable way to conduct business.”

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Nancy Pelosi

But not all blame for the political polarization belongs to the Republican Party. Democrats have done their part in making sure that the dysfunction in the Federal government survives year after year.

“It all starts with [Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA),” said a Democratic operative, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I hate to say it, but she set the precedent of appearance over actually getting work done. When she became Speaker of the House in 2007, she though it was more important to have a photo-op with kids than actually running the House that day. How can you take someone like that seriously? I mean, Republicans hate her guts, and many Democrats think she’s useless, too.”

“There’s equal blame for both parties,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “You’ve got multi-millionaires from both parties serving in jobs that pay $174,000 per year. Most have no previous political experience; they just thought they could spend millions of dollars of their own money to get elected. And they were right. But some are dumb as turnips and don’t understand how politics and compromise is supposed to work. As long as we keep electing these people, we’ll continue to get what we deserve: nothing.”