In her presser Friday, Leader Pelosi (D-CA) bemoaned the Republican refusal to do things that used to be bipartisan like infrastructure, noting “(W)hen we passed minimum wage when we had the majority, President Bush signed that.” She expanded in the q and a section to call this Do-Nothing Congress a “drive-by Congress”.
Pelosi said, “Well, I think my constituents, but broader to the public, should know that we are engaged in a drive-by Congress. We are hardly ever here, and when we are, we are engaged in process, not progress.”
Watch here courtesy of Roll Call:
Question: Good morning. With August and the recess approaching, what do you say to your constituents and the public about a lack of accomplishments on Capitol Hill?
Leader Pelosi is not impressed with the lack of accomplishments on Capital Hill (which translates plainly to Republican refusal to legislate in the House).
The former Democratic Speaker answered, “Well, I think my constituents, but broader to the public, should know that we are engaged in a drive-by Congress. We are hardly ever here, and when we are, we are engaged in process, not progress. It’s absolutely shameful that opportunities for job creation – which is what the American people want us to do: create jobs, get growth in our economy so that we have a good jumpstart to the middle class – we are going to be in just a few days this month and next month. We are in 12 days in September. And now the Speaker – there is rumor that the Speaker may cut off the last week of that 12 days. That’s not responsible. That’s not responsible.”
That would be one week of work in September, which is sort of like being a government hand out taking lazy welfare House Republican, only with no responsibilities except several Obama witch hunts and one Obama lawsuit, all paid for by taxpayers who voted for Republicans based on a promise of job creation.
Pelosi made the argument for the House getting its act together, “So there is a choice to be made as we go forward. It’s: do we want bipartisan cooperation to get the job done for the American people, or do we want to obstruct and be absent, to be missing in action for addressing the needs of the American people? It’s about progress versus obstruction. It’s about bipartisanship versus obstruction.”
Pelosi sought common ground with Republicans around the country who might also care about these children caught in the border crisis, “And people know. I think that more and more the public is aware of the Republican obstructionism here. But that’s not good enough. We all have to keep trying and keep trying to find bipartisanship, and one place we can do that is on this border issue. I know Republicans across the country care about those children. I know some of our Republican colleagues do.”
“Hopefully we can, at least from our values of who we are, and how we treat children, and how we respect our own due process and our country, at least have that as a basis for coming together.”
The Democratic House Leader is correct: Many people agree that we care about these children. We need to address this crisis, but in a humanitarian way that a Democratic nation can be proud of. There is a moral connect here with most Americans. It is, unfortunately, the extremists running the Republican Party who force the party further and further from compassion and closer toward social Darwinism. This is not a direction most Americans are comfortable going. We may disagree on ideology, but most of us agree that everyone should be pulling their weight (this Congress included) and compassion is an essential element to our policy debate.
As Republicans leave compassion in the dust, they are abandoning any pretense at the center.
With that comes their snide contempt for pretty much everyone else. For example, Republicans accuse pretty much everyone else in the country — except the very wealthy — of being lazy, of not working hard enough – and yet they might be working a scant week this September and have already whittled their working days down to a mere 112 working days.
The least productive House in history still made their $174,000 salaries, proving that Republicans no longer believe in merit based pay/success. In fact, they basically got a raise per day in session over what they made in 2013. Going strictly by the calendar, members of the House made $1,385.95 per legislative day. In 2014, that number will increase to $1,589.32. With these suggested cuts, that number will go even higher. $1,589.32 to not show up and when you do, abuse taxpayer money to sue your opposition? Cushy work if you can get it. Drive-by Congress indeed.
Republicans can have it their way, and everyone else will suffer.