Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If You Wonder Why People Hate Congress

Let's start with House Republicans spending the final week or so before their next five week vacation approving bills that have zero chance of passing, rather than doing anything about jobs, the economy, or any other actual problems we have.

Among 10 bills headed for a floor vote this week are measures that would add new restrictions on federal agencies charged with crafting rules. Another bill would give Congress more power to block the costliest regulations.

The votes are part of the GOP’s “Stop Government Abuse Week,” a moniker that is drawing fire from public interest groups that argue the government has a responsibility to protect public health and safety.

“Apparently, they’re trying to equate the functions of various federal agencies with abuse, and I don’t think that resonates well,” said Rachel Weintraub, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America.

The centerpiece of the GOP push is the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Congress to approve any federal rule that carries an annual price tag of $100 million or more.

The legislation would create a new hurdle that regulations would have to clear before taking effect. It has been introduced in the last three Congresses, and the latest incarnation, offered by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), has attracted 164 co-sponsors.

But with companion legislation in the Democratic-controlled Senate likely going nowhere, Weintraub dismissed the vote as political theater.

“I think it’s a show. They want to do something they can point to, going into the recess,” she said. “This fits into their anti-regulatory narrative.” 

To recap, the guys in government that say the federal government has too much power, want more power over the federal government.  To a Republican, the fact that Democrats exist is "government abuse". And yet after these clowns pass this legislation, they're on vacation all summer until after Labor Day.  Nice work if you can get it.

Or in this case, no work.  By the way,under the REINS Act, the House GOP could then veto basically every executive branch rule on the books by saying its impact on the economy was more than $100 million.  Republicans could then shut down every executive branch agency and cabinet department at will.  They know it won't pass, and they'd never hand that kind of power to Democrats with a GOP president.  But they'll waste time passing it anyway, because that's what they do.

Like I said, clowns.

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