The lame-duck session of the 113th Congress is scheduled to reconvene on Nov. 12.
Major issues on the table include funding the federal government after current appropriations expire Dec. 11, possible unilateral action on immigration from President Barack Obama, long-stalled judicial and ambassadorial nominations, an expected nomination for attorney general, extending tax breaks like the deduction for sales taxes in states including Texas, extending the ban on Internet access taxes and debating Internet sales taxes.
What do you believe are the most important issues requiring congressional action before the 113th adjourns in December? Or will this Congress maintain its “do-nothing” label?
“Do-nothing” Congress is a misnomer.
Congress is expected to go along with Obama’s demands or be labeled do-nothing.
Obama should have been more transparent and willing to work with Congress. “Reaching across the aisle” was expected of previous administrations, but the current president does not.
Important issues: illegal immigration, controlling our borders, and dealing with terrorism.
Immigration reform had been in the works for a long time, but will not be enforceable until the border is sealed. How can you have an immigration policy while so many can cross illegally any time they decide to and with no consequence?
— Eva Snapka, Arlington
Our United States is a republic and not a democracy. As such, in place of the people deciding policy matter through town hall meetings or by voting on ballot initiatives and referenda, we choose representatives to vote for us. Unfortunately, we sometimes must endure a Congress which exerts only minimal effort to keep our mega-sized ship afloat.
The framers of the Constitution were intent to let a small number of citizens elected by the masses to run our government and it usually works well. Except, that is, when Congress shirks their responsibilities and does little more than to ensure their paychecks keep coming.
Maybe it’s time to allow for national ballot initiatives or referenda and let the public’s passion, patriotism and love of justice decide certain matters like immigration, tax reform or even foreign policy.
If Congress will not or cannot bring issues to a vote, then why not us?
— Patrick Jenkins, Arlington
Stick the do-nothing label where it belongs, on the Harry Reid Senate.
In the 113th Congress, Senate Republicans introduced 1,105 amendments while Democrats offered 847. Reid blocked votes on all but 19. Meanwhile, the Republican House sent over 450 bipartisan bills to Reid’s Senate where he killed 347 without a vote.
I predict that in the lame-duck Reid will pull the pin on every parliamentary grenade he can, blame the Republicans and the media will run with it.
Next year, if the Senate emulates the Republican House, Congress will escape Reid’s legislative graveyard and become effective once more.
What will Obama do then?
— Burt E. Ballentine, Keller
I believe the two most crucial important issues that need congressional action are the national debt and our trade deficit.
Our debt is now trillions of dollars. Yet we continue to spend money we don’t have and borrow money, costing us millions of dollars in interest payments.
We buy immensely from China and many other countries. Yet what do we sell or do others buy from us other than airplanes and weapons?
There are other important issues that need dealing with, too, such as immigration, healthcare etc.
But improving these two issues is greatly needed for the betterment of the U.S. and for the future of our children and their children!
I hope Congress does not maintain its “do-nothing” label.
— George J. Anthony,
It is absolutely amazing that members of the press have continued to refer to the U.S. Congress as a do-nothing Congress, and the Republican Party as the “party of no.”
If they were referring to Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate that he has controlled, they would be correct.
However, due to the fact that numerous bills have been passed on a bipartisan basis by the House of Representatives and are still sitting on Harry Reid’s desk, logical individuals would conclude that Reid and the Senate controlled by the Democrats have done nothing except protect President Obama and their own members .
One would think that members of the press would understand that. I don’t think the approach of most media today is exactly what those who provided freedom of the press had in mind.
— Wayne Duke,