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While on Summer Recess, Congress Blocks Recess Appointments

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A pedestrian crosses a road with the U.S. Capitol building in the background on Aug. 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

As many have noted, members of Congress left behind some unfinished business when they headed home for their August recess. But here’s something else you should know: Even though hordes of lawmakers have left D.C., neither chamber of Congress officially adjourned.

The reason? In an effort to block President Obama from making recess appointments—which the Constitution allows presidents to do—Congressional Republicans have kept Congress technically in session. 

The Washington Examiner explains:

The Republican-controlled House used a procedural move to help force this issue. Though it's the Senate that must confirm presidential appointments, under the U.S. Constitution, it cannot adjourn for more than three days without the approval of the House.

So, instead of adjourning, both the House and Senate will be conducting what are known as “pro forma” sessions. What that entails, essentially, is having a member of Congress stick around the Capitol to strike the gavel for what are sometimes seconds-long sessions, according to the Examiner.

And if history is our guide, it seems Congress will have to hold these perfunctory sessions at least once every three days.

According to this 2010 Congressional Research Service report [PDF], the Constitution doesn’t actually say how long the Senate must be in recess before the president may make a recess appointment, but in 1993, the Justice Department suggested that the number was three days. According to Roll Call, the Senate will be holding pro forma sessions nine times, even while most of its members are back at home.

Lest you think this maneuver is specific to Republicans: Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also used the strategy under President Bush. 

Republicans have used it frequently under President Obama—during the Memorial Day recess, the July 4 recess and through the rest of this month. In June, the freshman class of House Republicans sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to prevent recess appointments [PDF] and offering their services for covering the pro forma sessions.

“We understand that our request will very likely mean that the House of Representatives will meet no less than once every three days for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012,” the lawmakers wrote. “We stand ready to assist you in ensuring there are always sufficient members to cover the necessary pro forma sessions.”

By keeping Congress technically in session, Republicans will be able to keep the president from naming a temporary head to the recently formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The new bureau's powers are limited without a director, and Republicans have vowed to oppose the confirmation of a new director unless the agency's authority is rolled back. They've speculated that President Obama might resort to a recess appointment in order to get his new nominee, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, finally on the job.

Overall, President Obama has made relatively few recess appointments. The New York Times noted that he’s made 15—which the White House openly announced last year, citing "Republican obstruction"—compared to President Bush’s 171 and President Clinton’s 139 recess appointments.

Recess? What are they school kids? Right… over grown spoiled kids..

Stephanie Palmer

Aug. 3, 2011, 3:43 p.m.

Since those so-called representatives and senators didn’t officially adjourn, I suggest that they be required to regroup this coming Monday to figure out all of the stuff they left in limbo. That way at least we might be able to put the 4,000 FAA workers and the 70,000 construction workers back to working. It’s clear that they don’t really care about these lay offs, but the American people certainly should. So call them back.

SPENCER ADAMS

Aug. 3, 2011, 3:55 p.m.

The Dems under Bush couldn’t block 171 recess appointments?  And Obama only has 15?
Can you name 1 or 2 people that the Dems blocked?

The bastards have NO concern what happens to our natiom ot the people.  Just their own election. 
We need a groundswell of public outcry, and a third party—- or change to the pariiamentary system fo several aprties.
UNEMPLOYMENT should be first and foremost in our representatives minds—but in actual fact—they simply con’t give a shit.

Demand recalls

Aug. 3, 2011, 4:02 p.m.

Not everyone who voted for T-party candidates approves of their attempt to cripple the Federal government. What do presidential appointments have to do with their avowed stand against tax increases or limited government?

Voters in who disagree with the way their elected officials are behaving should follow Wisconsin’s lead and demand recalls. Wall Street isn’t so happy now. T-party radicals may discover their base is shrinking and former contributors no longer support their efforts to kill the economy in order to make Obama a one term president.

At least they would have to turn their attention away from defunding the government to defending their turf, and economists could start a serious discussion about the ramifications of laying off millions of public employees. Maybe mainstream media will give the story some serious coverage.

Obama & the progressives he has drawing big pay for killing jobs is good enough reason to block any one Obama would like to put in office to kill off more jobs in small business, energy sectors. The EPA needs to be gutted like a fish & re done now before it does any more harm to our nations work force abilities to innovate & bring on line the needed coal power plants in Texas & other States that froze their butts off because coal power plants were shut down last year. Good for both, neither gets to put in more un needed regulations that stop jobs from coming back. When they learn to stop putting a circle around the Constitution like a old wagon train fighting Indians & letting arrows pick off parts of it one piece at time, we might return to knowing the true meaning of freedom & how it feels, once you get it it you will never want to lose it again!

Seems to me the conservatives are nothing more than a bunch of manipulative brats.  I hope when it comes election time the Dems pull out all the stops and throw the games they have played right back in their faces!

The people who did this have shown they are not fit for office. They insult us all and gum up the works for Americans every chance they get. There should be accountability for such arrogant, reckless and immature behavior. This is sickening, but I guess I shouldn’t be at all surprised. They care nothing for struggling Americans.

Cut their pay

Aug. 3, 2011, 4:14 p.m.

While they are on recess, the members of Congress should be encouraged to cut their pay as long as they cut the pay of othe government workers. Make sure they get the message: “Congress needs to share the pain of their constituents” or they will join the unemployed.

I “second” what Dean just wrote. The right is so hell-bent to destroy President Obama that they’ll also willingly destroy our country to do so. Check out some of the vitriol on redstate.com to see what I mean.

I always thought a third party was what we needed. Now, I’m not so sure. I now think it’s too late for that. With a lack of attention span, lack of compassion, lack of intellect and a lack of any sense of civic duty, I believe the current electorate in America is totally self-centered and only cares about winning in politics like it’s a football game or such. We are spiraling down a black hole to a hopeless future. I hope the world is ready for AMERICAN refugees.

KENNETH SOLHEIM

Aug. 3, 2011, 4:32 p.m.

And, Republicans swear this has nothing to do with Obama being black!  Riiight…

Mickey Smith, you belong in hell with Joe Barton

i agree with “cut their pay” and Mickey Smith you are just plain stupid.

Stephen Wilson

Aug. 3, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

I think it’s time for Obama to blow past Congressional mutiny and let the courts sort it out.

LetsFixThisCountry.org

Aug. 3, 2011, 5:08 p.m.

Don’t be too hard on Mickey Smith. He’s just fallen for the job-loss propaganda of the right wing. If the power companies are forced after decades to clean up their act, think of all the jobs that work will create.

“...the needed coal power plants in Texas & other States that froze their butts off because coal power plants were shut down last year.”

Actually, the Texas power grid was NOT at full capacity. A chain of breakdowns triggered by the unseasonably cold weather was to blame. Don’t hate Obama TOO much, eh?

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Officials-Statewide-rolling-blackouts-issued-to-conserve-energy-115093329.html

This is total B.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since when does the Justice Dept. set the rules for Congress?!  If it isn’t in the Constitution, then it is not binding on Congress!  Wait a minute, isn’t that what the Tea Party always says?!

Just do it!

Frank Gunnels

Aug. 3, 2011, 5:28 p.m.

The answer is OBAMA cannot be trusted. He is a LIAR.
We are STILL in all wars and ONE extra.
Gitmo STILL operates.
He NEVER held his OBAMACARE on C-SPAN .
He approved Bush’s tax cuts TWICE.
His bailout of the auto industry was simply a transfer of wealth to the unions and away FROM retired folk living off SECURED bond and stock interest.

The people in this country need to open their eyes and realize what the majority in congress are about and it sure isn’t what’s right for this country. This is protection of the greedy rich who are bought and paid for by, thanks to, Koch Brothers etal. Now to be clear, I’m not giving Obama a pass, actually far from it, but trying to be bipartisan isn’t working for him or US, the majority of this country. This perpetuated lie that ‘trickle down’ will work has been proven that it doesn’t; just look at your history, we have given this ‘elite’ a pass for the better part of 13 years (they are paying the lowest taxes in 70 years) and where are we in regards to jobs and our economy? The answer is we aren’t. They have NOT invested in jobs or this country. What is even more ludicrous is the stimulus that Ben Bernanke ‘gave’ them this past spring, like Alan Greenspans’ TARP, gave ‘free’ money to the same ‘filthy rich’ for ‘Jobs’ that Never materialized and the working class will have to pay back.  If that wasn’t bad enough this same group of paid for Congress people want to destroy all social safety nets that help the average Joe and Jane, children and grandparents, stay above water. When does this stop!

and to a point on this congress, this is “oppositional behavior” LIKE pre and JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL kids behave. It is like letting the inmates run the prison, only these people are suppose to be among the Best and the Brightest (supposedly) yet they don’t ‘even’ have the basics of a kindergarten child of how to play well with others?

Great coverage of a little known rule that was used to further demonstrate the aggressiveness of non-compromising Republicans. Rather odd though that none of the politically savvy Democrats thought to object publicly or point this out to the press before they left town. What does that say about the multiple factions at work and the schisms on Capitol Hill?

Where I come from, if you don’t show up for work and don’t have an officially-sanctioned reason for not being there, you have quit.

Is opportunity knocking?

Oh, never mind…I forgot that the House and Senate are effectively the most unionized entities in the United States of America and so can literally rewrite their work rules at will in order to thwart the business of their employers - the People of the United States of America.

On the bright side, CSPAN should be showing those individuals who are actively thwarting the will of the American people on the floors of the House and Senate each and every day…

It is always good to know the names of those who are the most eager to work at betraying the American people.

Richard Butefish

Aug. 4, 2011, 7:40 a.m.

We may not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but we do have a Corporate Financial Protection Bureau:  The US Treasury Department and Congress…

The Congress and House play while the FAA goes without work and construction on federally-funded jobs are stopped.  Unfortunately, they will get paid while these individuals will be out of work until the government decides to get off their butts and do their jobs.  Why do they seem to get so many recesses?  Has anyone ever asked that question?  If they want to take vacations like the rest of us, fine, but to have the ENTIRE government shut down so they can take a 5-week break is ridiculous!  The government should NEVER be closed for that long a period of time!  Ridiculous, and this is what we pay them for?  I think not!

Obviously, the solution here is for we the People to stand around choosing sides rather than acknowledging that the entire system is infested with well-paid vermin.

Does it really matter whether the Republicans sell our rights to a private company or the Democrats squash our choice for our own good?  Does it matter whether conservatives want to block Obama’s appointments and stall the country or Obama wants to appoint more “czars” to push failed Clinton agendas back on us?

The political party system does a wonderful job of turning us against each other, and somehow diffusing the rage that should be directed at our so-called representatives.

Both sides agree that Washington should collect all our Internet traffic and use it to accuse us of being terrorists or let Hollywood sue us for millions for listening to an MP3 file.  They’re desperate to ensure you have no anonymity to scare you out of dissent.  These aren’t hypothetical, either:

https://www.eff.org/action

So while you all bicker over which Party is the hero of the piece, try to remember that both are busily trying to pass laws to force censorship on you and go on bombing the living crap out of villages in the Middle East and torturing prisoners in our names because, hey, any of them (or us) could be terrorists, in theory.  Their reasons may differ, but they’re all happily pitching in to destroy a wonderful country to feed their own greed.

What America needs to keep politicians in line is a referendum policy like other civilized countries have. Study the way Iceland handled their debt as opposed to the way Greece is handling theirs. Iceland had a referendum vote and the people and their leaders won out over their Congressional majority. Much less messy of a system than ours.

Oh, but that is too democratic for this grand experiment in democracy, mari eliza.

Right now our corporations and their owner/operators only have to pay to corrupt around 600 people in our Congress to get their way.  It would cost them entirely too much money if the American people could overrule their property in Congress and so they had to, say, give the American people the jobs it would take to make us regard them more benevolently.

While we are in the throes of these debates, it doesn’t hurt to put some ideas for improvements in to place prior to picking the winners next time.

There could be some push toward electing officials who support the idea of establishing referendums as a new way of governing that alleviates Congress from taking a stand on these divisive issues by allowing people to voice their opinions on the matters.

Flip flopping has been given a bad name by the press, but when matters arise that suggest a change in direction is in order, one should adjust to those changes rather than worrying about appearing weak. What ever happened to steering the course according to the winds of change?

Micky Smith and his assinine comments about Obama,EPA, the Constitution, etc. —sound like the rantings of an idiot!  He’s drunk the Kool-Aid—and obviously not too bright to start with.

I’ve owned a small business for 41 years; this the worst I’ve seen and it can’t be blamed on Obama.  It can be blamed on ALL members of Congress OF BOTH parties and Bush, Clinton, etc. for allowing for 25 years of business being REWARDED for shipping manufacturing jobs overseas, and setting up “headquarters” in the Camens and alsewhere to avoid taxes.
I understand the importance of trade, BUT we’ve taken the shaft far too long; I doubt that America will ever recover.  NO politition has the balls OR the cooperation of Congress to outlaw lobbyists stuffing pockets or giving jobs to ex-congressmen, who care only about themselves.
As an aside; Reagan raised taxes 10 or more times, and nobody bitched.

I’m glad I’m 76—- I won’t be around to see the disaster, which is already unfolding.

You know what makes me sad about your comment, Dean Blay?  Your closing line:  “I’m glad I’m 76—- I won’t be around to see the disaster, which is already unfolding.”

There are a lot of Americans who can remember America before the Republicans sided with the OPEC countries and Big Oil against the American people and the United States of America…before the Republicans used the economic shocks that enforced oil dependency caused to inflict “flood-up/trickle-down” economics upon us…before “flood-up/trickle-down economics incentivized the few the Republicans represent to have their pets inflict deregulation upon us…before “flood-up/trickle-down” economics further incentivized inequitable free trade and the wholesale dismantling of our industrial infrastructure and savage assaults upon our service sector…

Before the greed of the few brought America low.

People are supposed to be able to get old in America and be able to look back at a life well-lived and a foundation well-built for their descendents…but the greedy few - and their tools, the Republicans and the neoliberal Democrats - have taken that prospect away from all Americans except the wealthy few.

America during the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s…yes, we had some societal friction…some wars that were both misguided and mishandled.  But we were a proud and strong country with a bright future.

And then came Reagan and the Republicans.

Is pretty funny to me:  Reagan and the Republicans took credit for “beating” the Soviet Union, which was pure fiction; the USSR had an unsustainable economic and governing model that ensured their bankruptcy was a matter of time….time that stretched over 50 years, not just Reagan’s eight years.

So who did Reagan and the Republicans defeat?  Us.

ibsteve2u—— your response is more than appreciated.
However, I forgot to mention “derivatives markets” and our Wall Street/Banking system in general, those responsible for this most recent collapse. Legalized thievery.  And the rules “governing” those entities haven’t changed a damn bit.
Dean

Mari eliza, I actually remember a time when we had a word for people who never “flip-flopped”:  We called them “stupid,” or merely “stubborn,” if we wanted to be polite.

Steve, it’s only the Republicans because they happened to be in power.  Look at the Clinton presidency, filled with lies (that’s what the Impeachment trial was about, until Congress decided sex was more fun—it was a perjury trial), dereliction of duty, shadowy back deals with mega-corporations and foreign powers, the off-shoring of jobs, and standing by to watch atrocities unfold in Africa and South America.

I won’t claim that Reagan was a great President, by any means (his second term was a complete disaster and bizarre retreat from his early successes), but I can’t help thinking that your laying the blame at his feet betrays your age as too young to remember the screw-ups of the Carter years (nice and smart a guy as he seems to be) and many administrations prior.

The problem in this country is that it’s run directly by lawyers and indirectly by enormous monopolies, not that one of two stupid and vague ideologies occupies more chairs in the White House or Capitol.

Dean, what can I say?  You have a couple of decades on me and you’re right on.  We’ve been on this path for a long time, and the only difference is that the politicians are starting to be explicit that their allegiance is not to the people or the Constitution, but to whoever gives them the biggest bribe.

Don’t believe me?  Write your Congresscretin asking him or her to oppose any Bill on the table (of which there are many) that’ll restrict free speech.  The cookie-cutter response you’ll get is that “they” (either law enforcement or enormous corporations) need “the proper weapons” to accomplish their goals.  It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle they’re from or what part of the country they claim to represent.  And it sure as hell doesn’t matter who gets caught in the crossfire of those weapons.

And you’ll probably get a note in your FBI file for your trouble, too, since only a Radical would want to protect someone else’s right to hate or disagree…

The GOP has one-upped itself by finding a way to do nothing without even being present.  The bad news for them is in the last election only 16% of the eligible voters showed up and we just saw the disastrous result.  The parallels to the 1946 election and the follow-up 1948 election come to mind, and we know how the second one turned out for that version of a GOP “Do Nothing” Congress.  My sense is that light at the end of the tunnel is the history train coming right at the GOP.

@John - I do wish I was too young to remember Carter; actually, however, I was offshore on behalf of the U.S. Army during much of his Presidency.  And I didn’t see him as a failure; I saw him as a President who reacted appropriately to the strategic and economic threat poised by foreign oil dependency in that he pushed conservation and alternative energy measures.

Unfortunately, he was thwarted by the Republicans when they chose to ally themselves with the OPEC nations and Big Oil against the American people and the United States of America.  Perhaps you are too old to reliably remember Reagan ripping Carter’s solar energy equipment off the roof of the White House as one of his initial acts?

solarbus.org/solar.shtml

And your statement “The problem in this country is that it’s run directly by lawyers and indirectly by enormous monopolies, not that one of two stupid and vague ideologies occupies more chairs in the White House or Capitol.”?

It is both simplistic and evidence that you have fallen for the right’s propaganda…you espouse the same lie the SCOTUS used to stab America with “Citizens United” in that you thrust forward corporate facades as the parties who are waging war against the American people.

Those “monopolies” are owned and run by people; they are not entities equipped with self-determination.  Those people are who have purchased the Republicans as a whole as well as the Democrats of the neoliberal variety.

To defeat a serpent, you can either strike off its head or dismember its body.  Striking off the head of the right is not yet feasible; however, dismembering its body - the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats - is within the realm of the immediately actionable.

Steve, it’s not propaganda that the “bigs” (“Big Oil,” “Big Media,” “Big Banking,” etc.) are waltzing their bills through Congress unread while, say, doing anything useful about corruption, rising energy costs, unemployment, and so forth are far on the backburner.

Are there people behind those facades?  Of course there are.  But the world isn’t an Ayn Rand novel with ubermenschen enforcing their wills through sheep-like employees.  Exxon-Mobil has an entire culture built around making us think they’re not cheating us, so these aren’t problems that can be fixed with a quick kick to someone’s ‘nads, if you’ll pardon the colorful metaphor.

However, force everybody involved in politics (directly or indirectly) to disclose their finances, and you’ll see change across the board.  There isn’t much vermin that can stand the light of day, after all.

I don’t think it’s a “Republican” problem, because the Democrats are just as happy in the pockets of business.  Gore’s solution to environmental crises was to hire the guys who helped Enron bankrupt California to make a stock market for pollution.  My locals in New York are trying to figure out how to give cavity searches in the name of safety.

As I see it, choosing between the two is like cheering for a local football team.  Unless you’re hiding an entire party of people with the moral fiber of a Dennis Kucinich (probably the only one in Washington worth a damn in many years), what I see is the ideology of government intervention and control and corporate intervention and control.  Given the infiltration of business into government, I’m not even sure it’s that cut and dried, so you might see why I refer to stupid and vague ideologies.

Neither party is interested in getting jobs back to this country, getting energy cheap enough that the elderly don’t freeze to death every damned winter, getting medical care cheap enough so that I don’t NEED insurance to cover the tens of thousands of dollars to tie a splint to a broken arm, or anything else that matters.

They do care about “the debt,” which none of them understands or cares to understand.  They care about copyright infringement and hate speech, and don’t notice that the “tools” they provide in that fight also work quite well for oppression.  And they care about supporting countries like Syria and Yemen while they brutalize their people (even though Egypt needed liberation).  They care about “the other side” not having an advantage.

And that’s really my point.  People like you, me, and most of the commenters should be standing against these cretins and their disassembly of the country people like you literally fought to preserve.  Instead, oh, I live in a Red State or I’m a leftist, so there are only ever two possible solutions to a problem.

I find it interesting that you paint me as Republican, whereas many have painted me Democrat, because I disagreed with them.  If you don’t like malpractice claim caps for medical care (because, say, it blames the victim), then you must be a pinko rooting for government-run medicine.  If you don’t want millions of dead Arabs, then you’re not supporting the troops.  If you wonder about Obama violating the War Powers Act, it must be for hating the man himself.

It’s childish, and from what I gather from your comments, far beneath you.  The solution is to stand for what’s right, not for the Right or Left.  After all, a lot of Republicans were voted out to end the war, and that didn’t turn out well.  A lot of Democrats were voted out in a cry for fiscal responsibility, which seems to have not happened so much.  It’s not because of the party balance, it’s because the people put forth by the party are self-serving creeps.

@John:

You devoted quite a few words to developing the argument that there is nobody running the right.

I would note that they are curiously well coordinated - and well funded - for an amorphous headless entity.

I think John hit the nail on the head. Maybe a little long winded, but he is right. ibsteve2u, you are so obviously a democrat and you are probably a democrat because your father was. We need to come together as America. Do we need the government to tell us what to think and what to do? Or, should WE be the ones to tell the government what WE want to do? Being a REPRESENTITIVE should NOT be a career.

KENNETH SOLHEIM, are there no black republicans? I think YOU are a racist. Obama’s record speaks for itself. People need to think without being told what to think by any elected official. I am sick of anyone dragging race into any bad remark mentioned about Obama. If that is true, than anyone who has anything bad to say about Bush in also a racist? Can’t WE shake off the B.S. and come together as AMERICANS?                                                                          “I HAVE A DREAM”  Not my quote, but from a GREAT AMERICAN.

lolll…no, “Tim”...my father was not a Democrat.  I am not a Democrat.  My father served in the military…I served in the military…we do have that in common.  Perhaps that is why we have both come to recognize that America is being sold out…primarily by the Republicans but with the eager assistance of neoliberals like Clinton.

I have noted a tendency for the right to try to “share the blame” when the spotlight of public opinion begins to turn upon them; I liken it to cockroaches scurrying for cover; cover that is admittedly readily available in the form of the not infrequent culpability and irresponsibility of the Democrats of the neoliberal/“Blue Dog” subspecies.

That tactic is second only to “Divide, and conquer.” among the right’s arsenal; in fact, it is complementary to it.  But their goal is fixed:  Self-enrichment and the subjugation of “labor” - the American people - regardless of the cost to the security and longevity of the United States of America.

The right - the Republicans and their various offshoots to be sure, but particularly those few who they truly represent - are traitors; when they speak, they lie.

To address the issue of race as it applies to President Obama’s popularity (or lack thereof)- I’m tired of people saying that race has nothing to do with it.

I remember before Obama was even ELECTED, let alone in office, and hearing the jokes about the WH Rose Garden being turned into a watermelon patch.

I not only remember but still have the graphic of Michelle Obama hanging by her wrists while individuals in white robes hold bull whips.

I just saw in the news that a certain Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado used the term “tar baby” in referring to President Obama.

Pat Buchanan just referred to President Obama as “boy”.

The “news” piece at FoxNews was classic. Entitled “Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs”, it shows the President along with three black celebrities. Never mind that the guest list seemed to be mostly whites. Never mind that it wasn’t completely hip-hop. Never mind that it was a freaking BIRTHDAY PARTY and not a jobs summit!

Do I need to go on? I hear this crap on an almost daily basis. You want   to believe there’s no racism in America? You’re not looking very hard at all. Start by opening your eyes.

So we have been hearing for months about how the House is controlling Washington’s ability to move forward and effectively closing down the government. My question is, what kind of controls does the Senate have over the House? There must be some muscle they are not using. Let’s hear about that and let’s see some push-back against the House.

Francine Palmer-Benjamin

Dec. 25, 2011, 7:02 p.m.

I voted for President Obama, but there are issues that he is so unwilling to stand and fight for. He seem to be an individual that things one can reason with unreasonable people, unreason procedures. He dosen’t appear to understand that, as in rivers and bad governments, the lightest things swim at the top.

Maybe Obama simply has more patience to work with unreasonable people than we do. Maybe that is one qualification for the office. I sure couldn’t put up with the crap he faces on a daily basis!

@Sebra:  A better question might be how well does the make-up of the House and Senate - as individuals - represent a cross-section of the American people?

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/how-many-millionaires-are-congress

Two-thirds of the Senate and half of the House are the 1%.  We have - and everybody might as well admit it - two countries in America, now; the country populated by the 1% is over-represented in Congress.

But the 99%?  They are hardly represented at all, and the corruption in Washington - the promises of lucrative token corporate and lobbying positions as well as “speaking fees” post-Congress - is so rampant that even those who are economically more akin to the American people when they enter the Congress face constant pressure to abandon their Constitutional duties - their honor - and become, for all practical purposes, Republicans…

Regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on.

I have always wanted to visit Washington, D.C. and see how congress works first hand! The political system is just so interesting to me. I am even considering becoming a politician one day! omahacoinbuyer.com

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