Monday, December 03, 2007

Underperforming Congress

Congress has a big challenge now, because they haven't done their job. They had all year and squandered their time. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have gotten only one of twelve spending bills signed by President Bush. The Alternate Minimum Tax will enlarge to catch millions more taxpayers unless Congress acts; Congress is already so late that it missed the IRS's deadline for changes for early filers. They also has to act on paying for the war, energy, farm subsidies and wiretapping our enemies. Tell us about your leadership, Harry and Nancy. More at Yahoo News.
Other items on a crowded December agenda include: _Terrorist surveillance. The Senate could vote as early as this week to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which dictates when the government must obtain court permission to conduct electronic eavesdropping. _Farm bill. The Senate hopes to finish a bipartisan bill extending farm subsidies and food programs after the legislation bogged down over GOP attempts to add unrelated tax provisions. _Children's health care. Negotiations should continue on legislation to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program by $35 billion over five years. With time so precious, leverage is flowing to Bush, who's armed with both a veto pen and enough Republican allies in the Senate to sustain filibusters against bills they don't like. When legislation — such as the AMT fix — simply has to pass, that leverage gives Republicans the edge in driving the outcome.

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