Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It’s All Congresses Fault

I keep hearing about how bad things are in America, most of the time that is followed by a rant about Bush and his policies. Let me pause right here and say that I am no Bush fan. I can list off tons of reasons he has been bad for America, but he really isn't the problem. No matter how much he wants to do something he has no ability to set a single policy in motion. He has no ability to spend a dollar of tax payer money. These acts all come under the authority of congress.

If Bush didn’t do it, then how did we get where we are. We should recognize that Bush has a strong bully pulpit. He can call a press conference any time day or night and they will show up. The media is so driven for material to fill the 24 hour news coverage that no matter what he has to say it will be carried live somewhere. The world and the people of the United States will be fully aware of whatever he wants to say. Yet, it is all talk. That’s right nothing but hot air and not one single word changed the direction of this nation. It is all propaganda and posturing but if he can strike a chord with Americans, we may yet see change.

Change comes from congress. The house and the senate have all the say when it comes to the direction of this nation. They also have the key to the vault that will pay for whatever this nation wishes to spend its money on. The president can only ask but congress can act.

Let me tell you how this works because it isn’t a simple process. You see we citizens have to get motivated enough to call or write our representatives in Washington DC and tell them we want a change in how America does business. We as a group or Lobby have to convince them to write a bill and take it before their chamber asking for this change. The writing of this so called good idea usually takes a room full of lawyers and investigators to turn out a ream of paper describing in detail the idea and how it will work or solve the problem. This bill then gets referred to a committee where it may get a hearing. If it gets a hearing, they will attempt to hammer out details of the pros and cons and then they will vote to send it back to the chamber it was referred from for a vote.

If it makes it out of committee the leader of the chamber it is before, may or may not schedule it for open debate before the chamber. All the present members by now have heard about this bill and they can weigh in for or against it. Someone has to then push a motion to close debate. If they vote to close debate then someone has to push a motion to actually vote on the thing. If it actually is put up for a vote it still needs better than 50% to move forward. After all that energy and effort it still doesn’t mean a thing. It now has to be sponsored and introduced in the other chamber and then the whole thing happens again.

The next chamber gets their shot at it much the same way as the first. If the bill makes it past this chamber with a better then 50% approval it still has some major hurdles to overcome. It still has to go before a committee that takes the version passed by both chambers and reconciles them to one another. By now the bill is well worn and has various attachments and compromises that may have nothing to do with the idea that started the whole process.

Being fully reconciled and approved by congress it is now brought to the desk of the president. If the bill passed through congress with a two-thirds or more majority from congress the president can choose to simply let it pass into law or sign it. He really has little say at this point. If the bill only cleared the congress by 50% he has some say on whether or not it becomes law. That say is known as the Veto. Simply put the president only has power over anything that comes through congress with more than 50% approval and less than 66% approval. Only at this moment can he say yes or no and make it law.

The simple fact is that if congress doesn’t act nothing happens. I bet you been blaming the president for the problems we are suffering. If you really want to solve the problem, start by writing your representative in congress. Nothing is going to change unless you get the ball rolling.

Oh, and if you think one of the candidates for president is going to change anything, they have been part of the problem for years. All three are from the congress.



Blogger At-The-Water-Cooler said...

Local politics is the most important. But for them to do anything we need to define the national issues. Down here in San Diego we have two that have done a fairly good job. Darrel Issa and Duncan Hunter. We have a few that need to be called out on the issues.

The two I've mentioned are on the correct side for immigration, although I am not certain that enough voters understand the problems with immigration we face.

On energy McCain seems to be on the wrong side, yes we have a problem. Crude oil is $2.00 a gallon and to refine it to diesel would put diesel at about $2.50. $2.50 for a gallon of diesel is too much, although people seem to be happy to pay $4.00 a gallon for it.

Diesel engines get about twice the energy than gasoline engines. A rapid cost effective way to begin improvement on our energy problems is to remove the tax on diesel and let the free market work to convert to diesel with the end result of less total crude oil usage. McCain's idea of solving the problem by reducing CO2 gets us nowhere.

These issues need to be national.

8:55 PM, June 03, 2008  

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