Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harry Reid on the Banking Crisis: We Don't Know What to Do

In the wake of two horrific days on Wall Street and questions about a banking crisis, the Democratic controlled Congress has decided to act. They are going to go on vacation and not come back because they don't know what to do. No, this is not an SNL skit or Onion article. They are going to go home and not come back until 2009 because they don't know what to do.
Democratic-controlled Congress acknowledging that it isn't equipped to lead the way to a solution for the financial crisis and can't agree on a path to follow, is likely to just get out of the way.

Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments -- Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven't ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.

One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that "no one knows what to do at the moment."
Does that strike anyone else as irresponsible? Yes, given the ineptitude of the current Congress and basement-level popularity ratings, most Americans are probably glad they are going to do nothing. But for an elected body to just pick up and go home with an admission that they have no idea how to solve the country's problems is astounding.

This is not an isolated incident.

Earlier this year, to avoid a vote on offshore drilling, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House voted for a five week vacation. Note that no House Republicans supported the vacation.

While the lights were turned off, House Republicans showed up to continue the debate on offshore drilling. After folding under pressure, when the House reconvened, they voted to lift the offshore drilling ban with a bill so riddled with problems that it actually discourages offshore drilling. The Senate is considering a completely different law now.

How many times is Congress just going to throw their hands up and go home? Rasmussen polling shows the general advantage of the Democratic party in Congressional races is shrinking rapidly. Is there any doubt as to why?

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