Politics & Policy

The Do-Nothing Senate

It’s where House initiatives get smothered.

When anyone says it’s a “do-nothing Congress,” they are only half right. It’s actually a do-nothing Senate.

In this Congress, the House has passed and sent over to the Senate 253 bills. In stark contrast, the Senate has sent to the House 63 bills. The Senate produces only one quarter of what the House does.

I am not saying that passing bills is in and of itself an unalloyed good. (See the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.) But if you want to determine who is doing the actual work of legislating, counting bills is where you start.

From the House Natural Resources Committee, on which I serve, we have passed six bills opening up American energy that would create over 1 million new jobs, lower gasoline and electricity prices, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help lower our national debt by generating over one billion dollars in new revenue. These bills are now stalled in the Senate.

The U.S. Senate has become a productivity graveyard. President Obama signed only 16 Senate bills into law in 2013. Since summer, while House Republicans have allowed minority Democrats to offer 71 recorded amendments, Senate Democrats have allowed Republicans only four.

Senate Democrats seem concerned only with protecting themselves from taking votes that might anger their liberal donors or their voters. They do this by closing off debate, eliminating amendments, changing Senate rules meant to protect the minority, and writing their bills in secret, shutting out Republican voices and input.

This broken and dysfunctional Democratic Senate has created numerous disasters for the American people, and not just Obamacare. They also passed the trillion-dollar so-called Stimulus Act, refused for four years to pass a budget, and allowed the president to balloon the national debt in five short years, from $10 trillion to $17 trillion.

Don’t let the president or Harry Reid fool you with a false narrative that those rascally Republicans are holding up the nation’s business. This is just another ploy to shift the blame away from where it truly lies.

Our country deserves better. Bills that would grow our economy and put millions of our friends and neighbors back to work should never die in the abyss of the Democratic Senate. It is critical for every single American to let Senate Democrats know that they’re sick and tired of the do-nothing Senate.

— Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.) is a member of the House committees on natural resources, armed services, and veterans’ affairs.


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