Today, January 3rd, 2013, the 113th Congress, including ninety freshman lawmakers will be sworn in. They all begin under duress, facing weighty issues in the first couple of months. Let’s hope the 113th won’t be as useless and the 112th.
Freshmen Republicans face a divided party. The proof was in negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” issue. The majority of 112th congressional members of the House appeared to be focused solely on the issue of spending cuts instead of economic recovery, the larger picture. Spending cuts, the sequester, were postponed in the New Years Day debates.
Immediately, tomorrow, the new congress must face a decision regarding the funding of aid for Super Storm Sandy victims; aid that the 112th failed to bring to a vote. The Senate passed the bill a week ago with the package totaling 60.4 billion dollars. Nine billion will be voted for on Friday, the remainder to be considered on approximately January 15th.
The debate on the debt ceiling and the negotiations over the aforementioned spending cuts will take place at approximately the same time.
The Senate remains in Democratic control, 55-45, and the House majority belongs to the Republicans. The Democrats gained two seats in the Senate, and 8 in the House making the numbers 234-201.
An interesting vote will take place in the first few days. They must vote for a Speaker of the House of Representatives. There are some doubts as to whether or not Boehner can retain his position as Speaker of the House, since his lack of leadership in the past week has made his position vulnerable.
Several moderates from both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the House lost their bids for reelection, presenting a situation that may create more posturing from both parties.
My message to both parties, to both houses of congress, is “get to work.” It’s time to fix our broken government. Things need to get done, and quickly. Let’s get rid of the politics and take your jobs seriously. More work and less play will make you a good representatives of the American people. And ***** the lobbyists.
Like any of that will ever happen!