All day, I’ve struggled with this. I’m so mad, I’d be spitting nails, but it is bad for my teeth. Instead my teeth have been clenched so hard, my jaw aches. The uproar over the Fiscal Cliff negotiations and the last second before the clock strikes one and I strike the other has passed. Nobody is happy except, inexplicably, the stock market which gained 308 points. But then it hasn’t made sense for the past year. Mind, Congress has known this was coming since July of 2011 but did nothing. The Senate has been without a budget for over 1,300 days and that is their job! Harry Reid, the Senate Leader, accused the House and the House Leader of holding the middle class hostage. No, Mister Reid, you did. The House had sent over budgets, which Mister Harry Reid, as Senate Leader, refused to allow even one to come to the floor for a vote.
Luckily for everyone reading this post, a friend called and we spent an hour discussing what’s gone on. So, I am calmer than when I started.
If you watched the news last night and today, you would have seen House members, both Democrats and Republicans from the affected states in an uproar that the Hurricane Sandy relief bill wasn’t brought up for a vote. They excoriated the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, for putting it off until Friday when the new Congress is in session. You would have also seen New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, hold a press conference where he went off on the Speaker of the House for not taking his calls. How could they NOT PASS THIS BILL? Well, step back for a second and take a look at the bill. Here and here are reviews of what’s in it with links to the actual bill. Admittedly, these are conservative reviewers. Doesn’t mean they are wrong. This is not the first relief requested and passed for the Sandy victims.
My friend and I jumped skipped from the Senate to the House to our State to our city regarding issues from gun control, the fiscal cliff, union dues, city taxes, and she, who is what I would call a conservative liberal or maybe vice-versa, was outraged by congressional behavior. She actually said she would not be surprised if somebody, just the slightest unstable, went off on a killing rampage of Congress. We’ll probably get written up for thinking it, much less saying it. And, yet, the average American has got to be sitting in their living room, or worse, their car, stuck in traffic, listening to politicians chastising each other for uncivil manners. Do you know why politicians in Congress can say anything about an opponent, no matter how inflammatory or an outright lie? Because they cannot be prosecuted for libel or slander according to the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 6: “…They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.” Never mind unintended consequences, they cannot be held responsible for words stated on the floor.