News / USA

Experts Say US Congress Paralyzed by Partisan Posturing

Experts: US Congress Paralyzed by Partisan Posturingi
|| 0:00:00
X
Cindy Saine
July 06, 2012 7:30 PM
Republicans who hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed more than 20 ideologically-based bills in recent months. But the bills - on issues such as repealing parts of the health care reform law - have no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate or of ever becoming law. Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at these "bills to nowhere."

Experts: US Congress Paralyzed by Partisan Posturing

Cindy Saine
CAPITOL HILL — Republicans who hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed more than 20 ideologically-based bills in recent months.  But the bills -- on issues such as repealing parts of President Barack Obama's health care reform law -- have no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate or of ever becoming law.  

The Republican-led House of Representatives has been busy passing socially and fiscally conservative bills on limiting abortion and restricting government regulation of corporations.  At the same time, the House took months to pass student loan and highway funding bills -- popular measures that in the past, would have passed easily with a broad, bipartisan majority.

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, expressed frustration about the bickering over the student loan bill.

"But why do people insist that we have to have a political fight, on something where there is no fight.  There is absolutely no fight.  People want to politicize this, because it is an election year.  But my God, do we have to fight about everything?," Boehner said.

Democrats blamed Republicans for the deadlock, objecting to Republican insistence on financing popular measures by cutting social welfare programs for the poor.

"But instead the majority is engaging in another partisan attack on public health funding, funding that improves the lives of Americans and the productivity of our work force. I strongly oppose this position," said Rep. Lois Capps.  

In the end, the House managed to pass the highway bill and the student loans bill just before they were due to expire.  The student loan bill saves millions of college students from having the interest rates double on their federally-subsidized student loans.
 
Political analyst Norman Ornstein of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute says House Republicans have passed a number of ideologically-driven bills to please their conservative Tea Party base.

"Look, there is no question that the Republicans in the House, using their majority, have been able to pass a number of things that have no chance of making it through the Senate," Ornstein said.

The problem, he says, is that now the House of Representatives is not doing much else.

"You know, there is nothing illegitimate about taking positions and saying here is where we stand.  Where it moves into a territory that damages the congressional reputation is if you don't supplement that with at least some attempt at problem-solving in other areas," Ornstein said.

Retiring Congressman Barney Frank, a liberal Democrat, says the breakdown of functioning in Congress has been recent -- and he blames the influence of Tea Party members.

"Even more though was the victory in 2010, within the Republican Party, of a very angry group of people who don't believe in governance and who believe that you should not cooperate," Frank said.

Most conservatives argue that the U.S. government is too big already, and that it should not be interfering in health care and other personal matters.  It will be up to voters in November to determine who is in charge in the White House and Congress -- and how big a role the federal government should play in American's lives.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: rgw1946 from: usa
July 09, 2012 12:35 PM
Career politicians doing what they do best..collecting a pay ck..retirement and healthcare from tax payers and do NOTHING>> pass around>> time fire RECALL all of them ....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid