Monday, December 20, 2010

Lame Duck doesn't suck

In a move that surprised just about everyone, the Senate passed the food safety bill on a voice vote yesterday. I'm not sure it's that good a bill since I've seen some small buzz about provisions that could potentially hurt small and organic farmers. But the larger point is our broken Senate can get things done, if they want to.

In fact, DDay points out the lame duck Senate session has been rather productive:
So far in the lame duck, Congress has passed: the tax cut bill which includes a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, the legislative repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the child nutrition bill, a settlement for black farmers and Native American trust accounts, a one-year doc fix, a telework bill, a long-awaited low power FM bill, the CALM Act, and now an expected food safety bill.

But that’s not all. In addition to the food safety move today, the Senate confirmed a couple more judges, meaning that 12 have passed Congress in the past week. And of equal consequence, Harry Reid filed cloture on the new START treaty, after the Senate rejected another amendment to the treaty today.
If only Harry had been this forceful for the last two years, we might have seen some real advances for a progressive agenda.

But one other thing that strikes me as I'm watching this unfold is most of this is being accomplished with stand alone bills. Which leaves me wondering if the easiest fix for what ails the "greatest deliberate body" isn't simply to require all bills to be stand alone. It's all the deal making over added, and all too often unrelated amendments, that slows the process down to a crawl, every time.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home