A bitter little House whine

| March 30, 2012

“I can’t, it’s too hard.”

There are a lot of ideographic catch phrases we associate with Americans. This isn’t one of them.

I don’t believe George Washington or Admiral Farragut or John Paul Jones or Abraham Lincoln ever said it. For that matter I don’t suppose Muhammad Ali or Tim Tebow ever did either.But it is, essentially, what the House just said.

We have a 90 day reauthorization extension of the zombied SAFETEA-LU, the ninth since it fell into its altered state in the fall of ’09. Two and a half years of inaction, on a bill generally voted as the one “most likely to benefit from bipartisanship” in this congress. The Republican House says 90 days, the Democrats can’t stop it and the Senate has no choice but to rubber stamp it. And now the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will do in less than 90 days what it hasn’t been able to d to in over 900 days. Right.

Yes, there are a lot of reasons it hasn’t come to pass, and a number of them are powerful and daunting. But we elect Congress to do such things as pass reauthorization, and we assume that its members will not fail just because the job is hard. If you a look at all the problem, all the roadblocks, all the issues, you see how this impasse could happen. But in the end you also see that they were not so great that dedicated elected members of the House should have fallen back, defeated by them.

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