Thursday, 16 August 2007

The good, the bad, and the Congress

What did the United States Congress accomplish in the weeks leading up to its August recess?


  • House energy bill — environmentally sensible, or as much so as one can expect from this particular Congress, however it faces a veto by Bush (why can't he veto anything bad?);
  • long-overdue ethics reform — although it did not strongly tackle earmarks and some lobbying and campaign contribution issues... can't have everything!;
  • healthcare for children — which faces, along with some environmental bills, a veto by Bush.

  • NSA surveillance bill, now signed into law;
  • tobacco regulation legislation.

  • Deadlock central;
  • threat of veto and opposition from policymakers of both parties on almost any progressive legislation;
  • Democrats try to not look weak on national security by actually being weak on civil liberties and putting the Bush administration in check;
  • GOP fractured, especially on Iraq and Gonzales, but holding up still;
  • Iraq will remain prime issue, albeit a largely symbolic one;
  • remember: Congress holds the purse of the federal government.

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