Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Hath Congress Wrought?

To date, the 113th Congress has passed and the President has signed 31 pieces of legislation. Two involved Hurrican Sandy relief and one raised the debt limit. Congress also passed an appropriations bill and the Violence Against Women Act. I suppose those pieces of legislation took time to craft and have the CBO score.

Nine new laws, however, are completeley ceremonial and probably could have been completed in about 15 minutes:
H.R. 1071 Amends the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act to modify the requirements for the production of gold and silver coins commemorating the National Baseball Hall of Fame to require such coins to be struck on planchets of specified diameters.
H.R. 360 Directs the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to arrange for the presentation of a congressional gold medal to commemorate the lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley (children who lost their lives in the September 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, an incident recognized as a catalyst for the civil rights movement).
H.R. 324 Requires the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to make appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of Congress, of a single gold medal to the First Special Service Force (a joint American-Canadian volunteer unit), collectively, in recognition of their World War II service.
H.R. 1151 Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan at the next triennial International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly to be held in September 2013 in Montreal, Canada; and (2) instruct the U.S. Mission to the ICAO to officially request observer status for Taiwan at the Assembly and other related meetings, activities, and mechanisms, and urge ICAO member states to support Taiwan observer status and participation in the ICAO.  
H.R. 2383 Designates the new Interstate Route 70 bridge over the Mississippi River that connects St. Louis, Missouri, to southwestern Illinois as the "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge."
H.R. 588 Extends, to November 17, 2018, the legislative authority of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (Fund) to establish a Vietnam Veterans Memorial visitors center. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to allow the Fund to acknowledge donor contributions to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center by displaying, inside the Center, an appropriate statement or credit.  
H.R. 2289 Amends the Internal Revenue Code to rename the section heading of Internal Revenue Code provisions relating to the individual retirement accounts (IRAs) of married individuals as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA.
H.R. 1092 Designates the air route traffic control center located in Nashua, New Hampshire, as the "Patricia Clark Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center."
H.R. 2611 To designate the headquarters building of the Coast Guard on the campus located at 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue Southeast in the District of Columbia as the "Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building", and for other purposes.
I know congresspeople are stuck "earning" a mere $170,000+ a year. If one adds in the extra that Speaker of the House and the Senate Leaders earn, that comes to about $9.4 million per year just for the Congress folks. That doesn't count their staffs and whatever other perks they enjoy. At that rate, shouldn't American taxpayer expect more results for nearly nine months of work?

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