How far have we come in the past two years?
The nation continues to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression, with unemployment down and consumer confidence up.
But perhaps it’s part of the natural cycle of things, since who can point to one single bill that has come out of Congress and has been signed by the president that has actually made a difference? Or at least a significant one.
It’s not like either side hasn’t tried, though. The Republican-controlled House has passed many, many bills to stimulate the economy and create and retain jobs. Same goes for the Senate, with its Democratic majority. The Obama administration has tried to get Congress to bite on its American Jobs Act.
But partisan gridlock is creating a logjam of bills at the doors of both chambers.
And it’s not just job-creation bills either. Consider that both houses are fighting over a transportation bill set to expire within days if no compromise is reached in committee. That means construction projects across the country will halt. And even another temporary extension will make states hesitant to invest their own funds into highway, bridge and roads projects without a steady and secure flow of federal funds.
One more “victim” of the gridlock? The 2010 Robert Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act. It was drafted following the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners. Three families that lost husbands, sons and fathers in the explosion went to the U.S. Capitol earlier this month to remind lawmakers that it’s been two years and two months since the tragedy, and Congress has failed to pass laws that would protect miners. …
The two dozen lawmakers probably needed that little jolt, though even the families say they realize nothing will happen this election year with the legislation.
But it’s still a bitter pill to swallow. …
We hope for miners everywhere, from sea to shining sea, something is done, whether it be stricter laws or stricter enforcement. …
— Distributed by The Associated Press