Dec 20 2013

So What Exactly Did Congress Do This Year?


A recent Gallup Poll shows approval for Congress is at a record low of 9%. The last record was 10% in 2012. According to polls, disapproval ranges across both mainstream parties and Independents, though Democrats seem to be slightly more optimistic. What’s the reason? Apparently, Congress is just too damn ineffective. In fact, they passed the fewest number of laws in 66 years. As of early December, the 113th Congress had passed less than 60 laws – something liberty-lovers might see as a step in the right direction… until you see what, exactly, some of these laws were.

First, we have H.R. 1071 or, a bill “to specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.” Even better, this bill was an update to previous bill H.R. 2527, or the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act. The update was introduced on March 12, 2013 by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) and was later referred to the Committee on Financial Services when someone figured out that if you curve the outer edges of a commemorative coin to mimic a baseball glove, the whole coin becomes a couple thousandths of an inch short of the required size. The coins were minted in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Congress also passed several laws on what to name things – bridges, parks, and an IRS code – which were all shining examples of bipartisan voting. H.R. 1092 was responsible for more parking for the Minuteman Missile National Site in South Dakota. The bill awarded “approximately 25 acres of land within the Buffalo Gap National Grassland, located north of exit 131 on Interstate 90” to the project.

The base pay for members of Congress is $174,000 a year, with larger salaries for special posts such as Speaker of the House ($223,500), the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate ($193,400 each). Altogether, Congress brings home paychecks adding up to just over $95 million each year. If you break down the numbers, a regular senator or representative made $2,900 per law passed (Speaker of the House made $3,725).

According to the New York Times, the House clocked in the fewest work hours in a non-election year since 2005. The House worked for 942 hours this year, or about 28 hours a week. The Senate also spent only 99 days in vote, the second lowest since 1991, when they spent only 95 voting days. The 112th Congress had the highest percentage of stalemate – 72% – since 1947. The 113th Congress is shaping up to break that record. And let’s not forget the 16 day shutdown.

The good news is, while Congress was busy concerning themselves with such frivolous matters, they failed to pass stricter gun control laws. They also could not come to an agreement on increasing farm subsidies and food stamp programs. Unfortunately, Congress also kept ObamaCare on track and voted to continue the ban on undetectable firearms. They also passed 2014’s NDAA, which ramps up the NSA’s surveillance practices.

Which is worse: paying Congress for mostly doing nothing, the waste of tax dollars on the frivolous laws they did pass, having to deal with the fallout of ObamaCare and the NDAA – or the fact that the government does it all without any input from the people? I guess it depends on which way you look at it.


  1. R. Ranges

    My personal solution for Congress and Senate members job performance should model that of the real world working force. Typically when you are new on the job you get the common 90 day probation period to prove your worth as an asset and can be released without reason in that time. As for politics, it would have to take a little longer, say 18 months maybe (its variable). If said Congressman or Senator does not perform to his or her duties, the people they represent should have the right and legal ability to vote them out ( fire them ) before their term is up. As to the process of electing a replacement… I am still up in the air on that one. I believe some districts have similar protocols as this. This would definintely get the fire lit under their A$$E$. JMO

  2. TheZyzzybalubah

    Not likey R. Ranges. Any kind of attempt to fix a criminal monopoly that is corrupt from the bottom up will inevitably result in nothing changing.

    The problem is this, votes on a ballot mean nothing! You don’t fire someone by voting them out on a piece of paper, you fire them by simply NOT PAYING them anymore. As long as “taxation” (armed robbery) is their means of acquiring their salary, you will never be able to light a fire under their asses or leave them without a job lording it over people’s lives.

    BTW a record low for laws passed is great news. Regardless, any laws passed and added to the never-ending unreadable collection of politician scribble is too many. If you cannot know the rules you are bound to, then you have no obligation to follow them. The Politicians themselves know less than 1% of the given laws of their reigning Municipality, State, and Federal Registry. How is it that people that don’t even know the existing laws, and are funded by breaking the most sacred law of man (DO NO HARM), are magically charged with the power to make punishable suggestions on pieces of papers that will be enforced blindly by the criminal thugs in blue costumes? Laws are a selectively-enforced hit list of suggestions that no one can ever read and we are ALL on it. The average person commits 3 felonies a day and cannot even leave the house without breaking a law.

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