It’s Groundhog Day — Again!

What’s the groundhog fable? If on Groundhog Day the groundhog emerges from his den and he immediately sees his shadow, he will retreat, and Winter will continue for six more weeks. I don’t know how many days have been American voters’ Groundhog Day. Each day we emerge to see the shadow of Washington on the ground in front of us. So we go back into our lives, and the crud in Washington continues. The only difference is the D.C. crud will undoubtedly last longer than six more weeks.

While the House with a multitude of new scheduled hearings is scratching for anything to fuel Trump impeachment, the Grand Groundhog — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — keeps coming out to a microphone saying, “There’s no requirement that we have a vote. We’re not here to call bluffs. We’re here to find the truth to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Doing so is not a game for us. This is deadly serious.” The House Speaker then retreats to wherever it is she stays while nothing gets done for another day, another week, but hopefully NOT another year, in Congress.

Americans know full well what members of the Democrat side of the aisle in the House ARE doing: “Impeachment Inquiry.” But what are House members NOT doing?

“They’re Not Doing Any of This”
  1. The House is NOT taking up legislation to reform immigration law.
  2. The House is NOT a taking up legislation to take care of the Dreamers that are not citizens but are young Americans who were brought to the U.S. by their illegal parents and have lived here — many of them — for years.
  3. The House is NOT taking up legislation to honestly examine and debate options with the intent to complete a border barrier on our Southern border to curb illegal crossings.
  4. The House is NOT taking actions to repair the Healthcare debacle that they with Democrats in the Senate created with Obamacare — a health finance program that without serious editing and revisions will bankrupt America.
  5. The House is NOT taking up legislation to curb the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of Americans each month.
  6. The House is NOT taking up legislation to address the nation’s homeless problem that is concentrated in the largest U.S. cities.
  7. The House is NOT taking up real budget issues with long term projections and agreement on government spending tackling waste with honesty to balance the budget.
  8. The House is NOT taking up legislation to support efforts of the Trump Administration that have proven successful in attracting significant corporations that previously abandoned the U.S. for other countries with more favorable economics. President Trump has shown the restructuring of Obama-era corporate taxing and regulation assists in attracting new business with existing U.S. companies while attracting foreign-based companies to relocate to the U.S.
  9. The House is NOT taking up legislation to tackle the deadly graft and corruption among elected officials and unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
  10. The House is NOT taking up legislation to assure federal and state elections are operated honestly and without foreign interference.
  11. The House is NOT taking up legislation to eliminate election fraud in all 50 states in spite of assurances by former President Obama that there have been NO frauds committed in previous elections.
  12. The House is NOT taking up legislation to rein-in the unfairness of federal election campaign finance.
  13. The House is NOT taking up legislation to regulate or to altogether eliminate federal lobbying, which would remove much of the financial corruption running rampant among members of Congress and members of special interests.
  14. The House is NOT taking up legislation regarding federal and private partnerships for critical infrastructure programs across the country.
  15. The House is NOT taking up legislation regarding the restructuring of the federal tax system to make it fairer and simpler so that every American contributes at some level with personal and corporate investment in its government operations.
  16. The House is NOT taking up legislation to assist our allies in the Middle East in the development of policies to stem terrorist attacks by ISIS and other organizations.
  17. The House is NOT taking up legislation to assure all international agreements between the U.S. and other governments are treaties that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
  18. The House is NOT taking up legislation to correct issues that resulted from the federal takeover of the management of college student loans.
  19. The House is NOT taking up legislation to eliminate some House recesses and shorten others to process more legislation that is passed-over because of session time restrictions.

Here’s the big reason the House is not doing more: their work schedule. (click on the hyperlink to go to the 2019 Full House Legislative Calendar) https://truthnewsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-House-Schedule.pdf

If you look through the calendar as compared to yours, here’s how many days in each month the House was in session as of October 15, 2019, and how many workdays they have not worked (“workdays are M-F minus federal holidays):

  • January they were in session 19 of 24 workdays
  • February they were in session 16 of 20 workdays
  • March they were in session 16 of 21 workdays
  • April they were in session 14 of 22 workdays
  • May they were in session 17 of 22 workdays
  • June they were in session 17 of 20 workdays
  • July they were in session 17 of 23 workdays
  • August they were in session 9 of 22 workdays
  • September they were in session 16 of 20 workdays
  • October 1 thru October 15 they were in session 5 of 12 workdays

That means in 2019, of 206 possible workdays (Monday through Friday of each week minus Federal Holidays), the House has been in session so far just 146. That means they worked only 71% of the time they could have worked conducting legislative tasks.

In fairness, these Representatives will maintain that they took time to meet with their constituents in their districts during the year and took time with their families for vacations. No one loves family vacations more than I. But taking one week for a family vacation during each of the two years of their two-year-term seems fair. Allowing two weeks per year to campaign in their home districts while meeting with constituents still means they would have worked 156 days of the possible 206 they could have been in session or just 76% of their time while taking a week for vacation and two weeks for meeting with and campaigning among their constituents in their respective districts.

I agree with the premise that the Congressional job is tough. I agree that being away from home while living in a pressure-packed political environment with weighty expectations for job performance is robust. But they each knew all of this when they chose to campaign for the job.

In my professional career, I have had hundreds, if not thousands of employees. Each of those during their job interview received in writing what their job expectations were, work schedule, and a full list of benefits. Each of those hired was expected to abide by the requirements of their job that were revealed and agreed to when they accepted employment. Why should it be different for members of Congress? How can we expect less and allow less than we do from any non-political employee of our own?

Americans have during the last decade lived in a nonstop news environment. That 24/7 news cycle is the “new” norm. Subsequently, Americans are learning more details of government operations. Americans are now as never before understanding the specifics of accomplishments by our elected officials in passing legislation. Therefore Americans know better than ever how the bureaucracy of Washington D.C. was created and has been perpetuated to facilitate working conditions, compensation, and benefits for members themselves that are not as were intended. Americans are angry.

Summary

D.C. is not working. Congressional operations must be changed. Members of Congress must work smarter, harder, and longer in their present jobs. If their Congressional job is too harsh, they should resign.

One might consider that an unrealistic expectation. But we all know to live and work in Washington is harder and more demanding than in Hometown America. That is why just a few can do so successfully. Based on the Congressional favorability ratings of Americans, members of Congress are felt to be less than expected and accomplishing far less than expected by Americans. And Americans who see all that is left unfinished are more than ever demanding changes to be made. Congress must complete those essential tasks that are pushed to the back of the line in each Congressional session and never finished.

If you’ve wondered why the Democrat-controlled House has essentially one agenda only — Impeachment — wonder no more. It is because the Democrat Party has only one plank in their party platform for the 2020 election. If Donald Trump is re-elected, it will obliterate their historical operating methods, shine the light of truth in the Swamp, and expose the waste and lack of fulfillment of necessary tasks by each Congress. They cannot allow that to happen.

Expect the angst, bitterness and vocal haranguing to only worsen the closer we get to November of 2020. Don’t expect much legislative progress either. Democrats refuse to allow Mr. Trump any new legislative triumphs until they hopefully vote him out of office.

In the meantime, expect another Ground Hog Day or two often in the next year or so.

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