2019-11-30 12:20:581 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
Democrats have passed hundreds of bills. That could be good news for Americans. However, President Trump and the White House want nothing to do with them. This is just the latest in a series of showdowns between Trump and the Democrats. Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t want to effectively work with the Democrats. They can never see eye-to-eye.
Very little media reports have picked up on the Democrat’s latest efforts. According to a report via Vox, Democrats have passed over 400 bills. Now the ball is in Trump’s court, but him and the Republicans are currently ignoring those bills. These bills have nothing to do with the ongoing impeachment inquiry. The bills have been paralyzed on Capitol Hill long before the impeachment hearings started.
There’s a current state of paralysis that’s currently gripping the Capitol and it’s not a good sign. It was long happening before the impeachment inquiry. For several months, Trump has been busy tweeting, accusing the House Democrats of “getting nothing done in Congress.” The irony is lost on him because Trump refuses to look at the bills that are currently on his desk. He’s also blamed Democrats for getting the impeachment process rolling.
However, Trump and the Republicans should take a good look at themselves. Democrats in the House have been rapidly passing hundreds of bills as of Nov. 15, according to the report. Since then, the House currently has 400 bills sitting. Both the Communications Committee and the House Democratic Policy predicts that 80% of these bills will be stagnant in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is more focused on confirming judges rather than passing bills.
Congress has only passed 70 bills into law this year. Even though there is one more year left in term, the numbers are low than previous years. Congress passed 300-500 bills in the past two years. And yet that number is a big decrease from the 700-800 bills that were passed during the 1970s and 1980s. Out of those 70 bills, 10 of them had to do with renaming federal post offices or Veteran Affairs facilities. The others are for extending programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program or the 9/11 victim compensation fund.
House Democrats have been calling Capitol Hill a “legislative graveyard,” a nickname that Mitch McConnell is proud of. He even refers to himself as the “grim reaper” of the Democratic legislation he often hails as socialist. But most of the bills are typically bipartisan issues, such as net neutrality, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and universal background checks for gun owners and purchasers. Democrats are still asking for McConnell to handle their bills.
“From raising the minimum wage to ensuring equal pay, we have passed legislation to raise wages. And we have passed legislation to protect and expand health coverage and bring down prescription drug prices,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement. “We continue to urge Senator McConnell to take up our bills, many of which are bipartisan.”
But McConnell simply doesn’t care. He’s more focused on the federal judiciary. The Senate just confirmed over 150 of Trump’s nominees to the federal bench. In addition, McConnell refuses to mention the Democratic bills on the Senate floor. He wants to protect the Republican senators from making a difficult decision that could divide the GOP before the 2020 election. There are some Senate Republicans that fear that not dealing with the bills could leave them in a horrible position.
“I’m very eager to turn from nominations to legislation,” Sen. Susan Collins revealed in an interview with the New York Times’s Carl Hulse. “There are important issues that are pending, and I think we could produce some terrific bills that would be signed into law.”
But Trump continues to accuse Democrats of not doing anything for the American people as he refusers to cooperate with them. Republicans and Trumps have been accusing Democrats of focusing on impeachment rather than passing bills. However, they have passed a lot of bills, and it’s up to the Republicans to bring up on the Senate floor. Split control of the government has become a serious problem since Trump’s anger at being investigated by the Democratic committees have paralyzed Washington’s legislative moves before the impeachment inquiry even began.
Just because impeachment is the main story doesn’t mean there isn’t any work in Washington that needs to get done. Policy work should continue to happen behind the scenes. This is something that should be talked about. It seems that Trump has other priorities on his mind. The remaining weeks of 2019 could be the last time for lawmakers to advance legislation. But there is little chance that Republican Senate leaders will make it possible.
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