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Congress (In)Action

CongressPoliticsI’m not sure how I feel about this. Is it bad for Congress to spend an inordinate amount of time debating a meaningless, self-congratulatory resolution that the rest of the United States cares nothing about? Or is that a good thing because it means they’re not busy screwing up something else?

While House Republican and Democratic leaders joined together Monday night on the steps of the Capitol to pray and sing ‚ÄúGod Bless America‚Äù… a less-bipartisan affair occurred behind the scenes as the offices of Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) battled over the text of a resolution to mark the tragedy.

Deliberations over the annual anniversary resolution stalemated Monday…with the GOP leadership now expected to bring the legislation to the floor Wednesday despite Democrats‚Äô unhappiness with the text of the measure.

It is not the first time Hastert and Pelosi have sparred over the details of nonbinding resolutions …

According to both GOP and Democratic aides familiar with the dispute, Pelosi’s office sought to strike a section of the resolution that acknowledges a series of laws enacted since 2001 to “assist victims, combat the forces of terrorism, protect the homeland and support the members of the Armed Forces who defend American interests at home and abroad.”

Those laws include the USA PATRIOT Act, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and a number of border security, intelligence reform and port security laws.

So despite the fact this resolution means absolutely nothing to anyone, and regardless of the fact that 99.999% of the US population will have no idea whether it was or wasn’t passed, the leaders in Congress are fighting over what it should say.

What do they hope to get out of this? Absolutely nothing. Will it be a major political embarrassment if it does or does not list the laws the GOP passed? Not at all? Does it matter if an institution known for nothing but blustery self-promotion passes yet another ridiculous resolution congratulating itself for doing its job? Not in the slightest.

But here our leaders sit, battling amongst themselves about non-binding fluff, while the nation is at war, the economy is booming but wages are stagnant, and the government’s budget is still unapproved 18 days before the new fiscal year.

Given that government’s one tendency is to make everything they touch worse, is it good or bad that they’re spending their time quibbling over a nonsensical issue?

Written by Michael Turk