Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Contrary to popular belief, 110th Congress is quite productive

From a report:

The House has held 600 roll call votes and six quorum calls so far this year, which puts the chamber well on its way to surpassing the 867 votes and 18 quorum calls Republicans held in 1995 after they assumed control of the House for the first time in 40 years...

The Senate, meanwhile, has held about 240 votes this year. That number, combined with the House figure, puts Congress on track to break the all-time record for combined voting — 1,480 — set in 1995 when Republicans controlled both chambers.

The fact is that at least the House has held more votes on legislation and other matters in the first six months of this year than they did during the entire 2006 session of the Republican-controlled 109th Congress (when, if you recall, Republicans decided to defer action to Democrats in the 110th Congress on 11 2006 appropriation bills).

The problem is, as I've detailed several times before, Republicans have demanded a 60 vote threshold on nearly all pieces of legislation brought up by the Senate. So the House is passing bills at a record pace and an obstructionist minority in the Senate is blocking them from being voted on (and thus, passing). President Bush, of course, has also vetoed legislation on Iraq and stem cell research (with many more vetoes to come it looks like) and Democrats lack a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to override them. Don't think that Democrats won't use this record-pace obstructionism against Republicans in the next election. I'd advise they think twice about it in the future, especially on Iraq.

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