Friday, July 06, 2007

Congressional Priorities

The Democratic majorities in the 110th Congress clearly took their victory in the last election as a mandate to try to find evidence of misdoings by the current Administration. And, according to Ed Morrissey over at Heading Right, they have indeed so far spent most of their time looking for said evidence.

Unfortunately for them, these efforts have both distracted them from their Constitutional duty of passing legislation and have turned up no evidence of any wrongdoing. And it appears that the Administration is finally getting tired of the entire circus. As the White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel reminded the media yesterday, Congress has launched over three hundred investigations since taking power in January. And he also reminded reporters that the White House has so far turned over 200000 pages of documentation regarding these many investigations. But while Congress has been steadfast in their investigating, how many pieces of legislation have they passed? Six. Yes, you heard that right. Six- and that includes the troops' funding that took them almost two months to put together.

According to a July 5th article in The Hill newspaper,
Bush spokesman Scott Stanzel told reporters during the daily briefing that the White House has been subject to an average of about six oversight hearings a day since Democrats took control of Congress. In that time, he added, the administration has turned over 200,000 pages of documents.
Said Stanzel: “I would raise those issues because it raises the question, what does Congress want to do? Do they want to pass legislation for the American people or would they rather investigate and have politics be the course of the day?

Personally, I agree with the Heading Right commenter "Skip" who wrote, "Let’s rephrase that. Would the American people rather have them passing laws, or investigating? For me personally, having them spinning their wheels in meaningless investigations is just about optimal, rather than passing bad laws. I take it as a given that passing good laws is out of the question."

Unfortunately, with the recently postponed immigration boondoggle, together with the threats about the Fairness Doctrine (which we all know would never be enforced against the hopelessly liberal media like PBS), and the not-so-veiled threats to try to force the U.S. military to surrender to the Islamists, I must agree with Skip. I also would rather Congress spend their energies investigating crimes that exist only in the nut-roots' collective imagination than actually passing bad legislation. However, the investigation strategy does hold some element of risk for the Democrats. I agree with Captain Ed, who writes,
By the time of the next election, Democrats had better show some heads on the wall with these multitude of investigations, or some significant legislative victories, or both. If they have neither, they can kiss their majority good-bye.

In my opinion, the sooner the better, so long as a Democratic loss of Congress doesn't translate into President Hillary. That really would be a disaster.

Hat tip to Captain's Quarters.

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