Congress can’t seem to pass a spending bill on time or figure out health care reform, but as CNN points out, at least they’ve got time to consider resolutions to honor Confucius and establish National Pi Day. CNN says Congress has taken up more than 300 commemorative resolutions so far this year.
It would be one thing if these feel-good measures were simple formalities that sailed right through Congress. But that’s not how it works. My fellow reporter Rebecca Neal says she’s seen bills like last year’s H. Res. 1255 — a resolution honoring Toby Keith — eat up hours of floor time as lawmakers take the floor to talk about nothing. These measures usually fill Mondays and sometimes a good part of Tuesdays, wasting a fifth to a quarter of the congressional work week.
And it doesn’t stop with Toby: H. Res. 841 establishes Nov. 29 as Drive Safer Sunday (presumably to counter Drive Stupider Saturday), H. Res. 455 honors the victorious Wichita State University bowling teams, and next week, the House will consider H. Res. 742, congratulating the winner of the 2009 Little League Softball World Series.
Oh shoot — I just violated Complaint Free Wednesday. Rep Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., introduced H. Con. Res. 155 earlier this year, which calls on Americans to avoid complaining the day before Thanskgiving. But that’s a tall order to ask of a reporter.