The 113th Congress is on track to becoming one of the least productive in history. This "do-nothing" Congress has passed few significant laws . Congressional Republicans seem more interested in obstructing President Obama than in doing their job.
ABC News reports the House is scheduled to be in session in Washington a total of 133 days this year. The Senate will be in session about the same amount or a few days more.
Only 133? "But if you’re an ordinary American worker with two weeks of vacation and federal holidays off, you’re likely clocking in around 240 days a year at the office." Lawmakers are " paid for the days they're in recess –- and with a taxpayer-funded base salary of $174,000 a year, that amounts to about $16,000 for the summer break alone. And party leaders make even more."
Little wonder Congress is so unpopular. A Gallup poll (June) found Congressional job approval rating at only 16%, the lowest in a midterm election year since Gallup began asking in 1974.
On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to authorize House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to sue the president for acting without Congress in delaying enforcement of the health care law they oppose.
Now there's some irony for you.
Since taking control of the House in 2011, Republicans have voted over 50 times to undo, revamp or tweak the Affordable Care Act ( a.k.a. Obamacare).
According to Thinkprogress, the lawsuit House Republicans authorized on Wednesday criticizes President Obama over claims that he had unlawfully overused executive orders. "The lawsuit enumerates a number of areas in which they allege Obama had employed executive overreach, but they especially targeted the President for not fully implementing the Affordable Care Act. "
Yet the very next day, Republicans Boehner and other House Republicans indicated President Obama could address the immigration sitiuation at our border (unaccompanied children fleeing from violence in some Central American countries) " without the need for congressional action."
The irony and hypocrisy of those GOP actions has been noted.
Huffington Post reports, "A pair of House Republicans admitted on Friday that it made little sense to sue President Barack Obama over executive overreach and, at the same time, urge him to act without Congress to solve the border crisis."
"Look, you can't say on the one hand that the president is overreaching by acting without legislative authority and direction and then refuse to give him legislative authority and direction in another area, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla), a frequent voice of moderation in the House GOP conference, said on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown." Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) echoed Cole's remarks on MSNBC, saying "We can't go home until we pass a bill."
As for the claim that Pres. Obama "overused executive orders"---
In the past 50 years, Obama has issued fewer executive orders than other presidents, except Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.
Got that? FEWER! In fact, a lot fewer than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush did.
House Republicans are using taxpayer dollars to fund a lawsuit against a president who has not only done what other presidents before him have done (issue executive orders), but has done it less often.
The lawsuit will be filed in federal court. Which Congressional delegates from Wisconsin voted yes for it? Paul Ryan, R-1st, James Sensenbrenner, R-5th, Tom Petri, R-6th, Sean Duffy, R-7th, Reid Ribble, R-8th
Experts have scoffed at this lawsuit against Obama.
And there's this: Proposed GOP Lawsuit Against Obama Backfires, Helps Democrats Raise Millions ( Huffington Post) conveys that the prospect of legal action by the GOP against the president has been a powerful tool for mobilizing Democratic campaign donors, who strongly oppose the lawsuit.
One more thing----
Vyan's July 7 post at Daily Kos (Boehner explains why he'll sue the President for Doing His Job!) begins with John Boehner's words:
"Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.
But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold -- at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.
That's why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country."
Vyan's response ----
"So apparently Boehner is serious. This is not a joke. Or a dream. He intends to have the House pass a resolution to have them attempt to sue the President, the head of the executive branch, for behaving like the head of the executive branch.
Remember when Dick Cheney proclaimed that as Vice President he wasn't a member of the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch. When he proclaimed he was effectively, in his own personal Fourth Branch of Government and that he and his office didn't have to abide either by Presidential Executive Orders or the Law regarding how Classified materials should be handled?"
.... "Cheney was a law unto himself. Untouchable. Unassailable. Inviolate. But somehow Obama is completely "Out of Control"?
When we want to talk about Presidential "Law Breaking" and "ignoring the Constitution" it's good to keep it all slightly in perspective. "
***Update 9:50 am
In today's Journal Sentinel newspaper: