Getting Nothing Done

July 24, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Today, I want to talk to you about the deficit – not the dollar deficit. That’s for another day.

I want to talk about the deficit of action, the deficit of responsibility.

The U.S. Congress and the President have failed the people. The end of this fiscal year is fast approaching and the Congress (once again) has not completed the appropriation process for next year’s spending. The House Ag Appropriations bill still has not been passed. The Senate Ag bill is stalled and going nowhere.

There is very little time left. The house is scheduled to be in session 4 more days this month – zero days in August – only 10 days in September and 2 days in October.

We’re not going to complete the appropriations process. We’ll do what we have done before. We’ll pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running and funded until after the November mid-term election. Then, the Congress will vote the funding for next year.

Why don’t they get the work done on schedule? The answer is they don’t want to vote on issues now because their vote might hurt their chances of getting reelected. Harry Reid, leading the Senate, is sitting on a basket of bills that the House has approved. He just sits on them. As an example, if he were to allow his Senate Democrats a vote on a bill to stop EPA’s attack on coal-fired plants, it might pass. Coal state Democrats would vote for it. They would have to if they want to get reelected.

President Obama isn’t up for reelection. Why isn’t he in there leading to get things done? He had said at one time he wanted to reform the tax code “riddled with complicated loopholes.” He has done nothing. He wants to negotiate a European trade deal and a Pacific agreement. He doesn’t even have “trade promotion authority.” Any hope we had for immigration reform is lost for now with the thousands of Central American children streaming through our unsecured border.

The list of important issues that need to be dealt with is endless. If you wonder why the Congress is in session for only 16 days in the next 3 months, they are on the campaign trail. My advice to you is – go to their events and ask them why they aren’t getting anything done. Tell them to – “Quit telling us what you’re going to do. Just do it.”

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.