09.24.2010 0

Democrats Are Ready to Hit the Road

By Rebekah Rast –

Much has changed in two years.

Two years ago, a Democratic Congress was hailing a new Democratic President. The agenda was set. There was a promise of change and hope for the country.

How quickly things changed.

After passing a highly unpopular health care bill, institutionalizing financial system bailouts under the guise of reform, crushing economic growth and jobs — Democrats now can’t get out of town fast enough.

With a week left in session before Congress heads back to their districts to face contentious elections, what is on the schedule?

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) mentioned the House would work on such items as small-business legislation and a child nutrition bill. Among other items to be considered: H.R. 4387, designating the Federal building located at 100 North Palafox Street in Pensacola, Florida, as the “Winston E. Arnow Federal Building.”

Oh yes, and the All-American Flag Act, which requires all flags obtained by the federal government to be manufactured wholly in the U.S.

If you think this looks like a fairly light, and safe, agenda for Congress, you’re correct.

Items Congress should be considering before they adjourn: The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and spending bills for the upcoming fiscal year, to name a couple.

Instead, Congress has shifted these items to a lame-duck session. After elections, whether they retain their seat in Congress or lose it, they will be back to handle big-agenda items that truly matter to America. Sound comforting?

It seems Democrats are already preparing for their new role in the minority. A lame-duck session would give them one last opportunity to stick it to the American people and push through their own ideas.

In a Washington Post article, a reporter mentioned to Hoyer that the House schedule “looks pretty light.” The reporter went on to ask him “whether Democrats are ‘telling you they need to be back home, rather than naming post offices?’ ”

Hoyer’s agitated response was, “We always name post offices. It’s a worthwhile endeavor to do that, and people really do appreciate it, particularly when it’s their name and their community.”

As honorable as naming a post office is, is this really what Democrats want to go back to their districts with? What will they tell their constituents when trying to gloat about Congress’ achievements? That in the last week of session they managed to name a post office?

Most common-sense voters won’t buy it. Judging by the House schedule, Democrats have already checked out and would rather pack up their offices and head back home than tackle the heavy issues facing America.

“America is stuck in a trench and instead of extending all of the Bush tax cuts to help create jobs, Democrats would rather do nothing and scurry home to prepare for elections,” says Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson. “Democrats know they’re in trouble.”

Democrats don’t have much to brag about. Maybe that’s why it seems they are resigned to the fact that this might be it for their majority in the House. And if they play it safe the next week, maybe they’ll still stand a chance with voters.

The problem with that mentality is voters care about whether the tax cuts are going to be extended or not and they care about the fact that the House never passed a budget this year. This Congress has not provided the American people, small businesses or corporations with any steady ground to stand on.

America is in a limbo state that could tip either way — further down in the trenches or on a road to a true recovery. Congress not taking any action before elections holds America in an unhealthy balancing act.

A lame-duck session is not the time to tackle big-agenda items. The time is now. Instead of packing up their offices in cardboard boxes with dim hopes of returning, Democrats should use the last week of session to put their own failing agenda aside and help out those who elected them in the first place.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau.

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