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2012 Congress Adjourns With Nothing Done

August 6, 2012
Plain English Version

House Speaker Republican John Boehner of Ohio

Senators and Representative left Washington for a five-week vacation. Most will be campaigning in their districts to be elected again.

Nearly 80 percent of the American people are unhappy with Congress. Leaders say the Tea Party created an atmosphere where there is no room for compromise. Since people disagree on most issues, a failure to look for a middle ground means no important bills will pass.

Congress has not completed one of the 13 must-pass spending bills for the budget year beginning October 1, 2012. They took no action to help drought stricken communities. They left the Post Office without money. They are not close to working on increasing the nation’s debt limit.

Congress will meet for a few weeks before the election.  It must deal with a six-month spending bill to keep the government running through March 31 2013.

It must deal with the farm bill, including food stamps, that expires on September 30th, 2012  Defense spending and important social programs will be reduced. The tax cuts for middle-class and the affluent alike will come to an end.

All work on important issues will go to a “lame duck” session beginning after the November election and ending on December 31, 2012. The term lame duck means a Congress of current members, some of whom are retiring or were defeated at the polls. During this session, actions can be taken without having to worry very much about public opinion.

Most political observers say things will probably not get better soon.

The New York Times

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