January 15, 2007

Don't Get Hopes Up for Democratic Congress

Ever since the new Democratic Congress came into power only last week, expectations have been high. They have been sworn in on the heels of extremely low approval ratings for the House and Senate. Their job now includes making sure that House Representatives and Senators are behaving ethically with lobbyists and others who attempt to exert influence over the American democracy. They have to clean up the taint of sex scandals in the Congressional Page program. Not only that, but they have to do all of this as well as deal with the Iraq War, pass an agenda that makes them stand out, all the while having a President that seems unwilling to cooperate with a legislative branch filled with the other party.

It doesn’t look likely that the new Congress will get anything done in its first 100 hours. In fact, it doesn’t look likely that the new Congress will get anything done. The likelihood that any of their legislation will survive the well entrenched bureaucracy of the House of Representatives and the Senate isn’t the only key issue. Other bigger problems exist. The other big issue is that that President is of the opposite party and, with the case of a few exceptions, is unlikely to allow much legislation to pass. Even barring a miracle that the Democratic Party can be united for long enough to do much; it won’t have the supermajority needed to override the president’s veto.

It looks as if the new Congress that was elected just this last November will be unable to do anything substantive. They have a huge amount of skepticism to overcome from the American public and the media at large. They have the problems of ethics within the Congress and a long, uphill fight without a distinguished or clear plan as to what to do on most of the major issues in the country. Not only is that a problem, but the President which needs to approve all of their legislation is highly unlikely to do so, and more likely to circumvent it with Constitutional loopholes. The expectations for the first 100 hours are too high. The expectation for the new Congress altogether is also.

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