Free Markets, Free People

In praise of lazy Harry Reid

Okay, yes, it’s a bit of a sarcastic title, but in a sense I mean it:

For those who need proof that the Senate was a do-nothing chamber in 2011 beyond the constant partisan bickering and failure to pass a federal budget, there is now hard evidence that it was among the laziest in 20 years.

In her latest report, Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson revealed a slew of data that put the first session of the 112th Senate at the bottom of Senates since 1992 in legislative productivity, an especially damning finding considering that it wasn’t an election year when congressional action is usually lower.

For example, while the Democratically-controlled Senate was in session for 170 days, it spent an average of just 6.5 hours in session on those days, the second lowest since 1992. Only 2008 logged a lower average of 5.4 hours a day, and that’s when action was put off because several senators were running for president, among them Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain.

On the passage of public laws, arguably its most important job, the Senate notched just 90, the second lowest in 20 years, and it passed a total of 402 measures, also the second lowest. And as the president has been complaining about, the chamber confirmed a 20-year low of 19,815 judicial and other nominations.

Frankly, I think Congress should be a part-time job.  That was the way it was designed at the founding.  Come in, do the work necessary – you know, such as pass a budget? – and then go back to your real job.

So, in reality, I’m not against a Senate that doesn’t do much.  Unfortunately, we have an activist president who is more than happy to use the Senate’s laziness as a pretext for issuing executive orders and accomplishing his agenda via executive agencies with no accountability to the people.

And, it appears, Harry Reid is fine with that – not that anyone should be particularly surprised by that.

It is the only way Reid can apparently assist the President in doing what he wants to do.  You know, provide an excuse.  “We can’t wait on Congress”, something that is only a problem since the GOP took the House one assumes.  Of course somehow even lazy Harry Reid managed to at least rouse himself long enough to pass that abomination we know as ObamaCare. 

Once that was done, he went back into tax-payer subsidized hibernation.

But with Reid, how do you tell?


Twitter: @McQandO

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9 Responses to In praise of lazy Harry Reid

  • Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. Will Rogers

    I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. Will Rogers

    Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for. Will Rogers

    On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does. Will Rogers

    As true now as it was when he said it.

  • Yeah, I *like* a do-nothing Congress; for the most part it’s better than when they try to Be Seen To Be Doing Something.

  • I few folks have been noticing that Barack Obama’s numbers go up when he does nothing, especially when we don’t see him (beckons to that faux cowboy poetry “How can I miss you if you won’t go away”). People like to miss Barack Obama. I think it has to do with him .. and his relationship to himself. If he loses, people will love him.

    The same could also be true for the Senate

    • @Neo_ We like the idea, the concept of Barack Obama. I suspect he’d make an excellent head of state if he kept largely out of politics. The UN beckons, obviously. I bet he gets there very fast if he loses 2012. the Europeans would love to have an ex president admonish his own country.

  • My favorite congressional “state” is recess. My second favorite is gridlock. My least favorites are “getting something done” and “helping the people”.

    —Tom Nally, New Orleans