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February 24th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

290 bills passed in House are stalled in Senate

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You don't have to look very far for signs that our government is broken... and here's one more:

The House of Representatives has passed 290 bills that are stalled in the Senate.

The Hill newspaper reports that frustrated House Democrats are out with a list of the nearly 300 pieces of legislation they've passed - that the upper chamber has yet to act on.

The stalled bills include both big and small ones - from health care, climate change and Wall Street Reform... to a Civil War battlefield preservation act and naming a federal courthouse in Iowa.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office says this list is put together during each Congress - but that this year's is probably the largest ever. Nonetheless, Pelosi isn't blaming her Democratic counterparts in the Senate. Instead she lays the blame on Republicans who are "abusing" their right to filibuster.

But some Democratic congressmen aren't shy to fault their Senate colleagues for not doing more with their super majority when they had it. House Majority Whip James Clyburn suggests that senators see themselves as a "house of lords" and that they're out of touch with the American people since they're not up for re-election every two years.

Over in the Senate - majority leader Harry Reid also blames Republicans for the back-up of legislation. Isn't he in charge?

The Democrats - starting with Reid and Pelosi - have to figure out how to get all their troops marching in the same direction. The people's business is piling up, and our lawmakers are just watching.

Here’s my question to you: How can Washington accomplish anything if 290 bills passed in the House are stalled in the Senate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John writes:
Jack, This is more proof that nothing works in Washington, D.C. anymore. Let’s abolish the two-party system and go to a parliamentary democracy. This would be the end of the imperial president and in place would be a chief executive accountable to the legislature and capable of being removed by a majority vote of the legislature.

Joe writes:
Say what you will about Pelosi (and Bush 43 for that matter), but both of them got things done. They were both leaders. You can argue about whether these bills and laws are worthy but they were able to corral people into getting things passed. It says something about the Reid's Senate leadership.

Dan writes:
A super majority. Not just a majority. Democrats should be ashamed.

Kent in New Jersey writes:
Nothing will change until all the incumbents are replaced. The only problem is the voters are not ready to replace them. Unfortunately, the voters talk but don't act - just like the politicians, and the politicians know it.

A. in Seattle writes:
Jack, The answer to your question is obvious. Washington will accomplish nothing without some break in the Senate deadlock. I fear that is exactly what the Republicans want. No action means no Democratic Party and no Obama victories. The Republicans will then resort to their usual disingenuous ways by charging the Democrats with being incapable of governing. The solution? Harry Reid has to find the political courage to invoke budget reconciliation whenever possible. If he is unable to at least hold together 51 of his members, well.... maybe the Republicans are right. The Democrats cannot govern.

Mike writes:
Jack, You can bet your sweet...donkey...that if those bills contained pay raises or increased benefits for our congressmen, they wouldn't be stalled!

John in Minneapolis writes:
What are you whining about? The less this collection of clowns touch, the better off we all are.


Filed under: House of Representatives • Senate
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Steve Colbert

    Get rid of the politicians health insurance policies paid for by the citizens of the country. They would pass health care legistation over night. Why should they care about health care when they get theirs' for free, right ?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  2. bugsy19

    Is not about the quantity but the quality. We need good comonsense bills, not just bills. Right of the bat, the climate change bill. First one in the trash.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  3. Larry Krauska

    Sounds like it's time for either a benevolent dictatorship or to give up this dream of a republic in favor of a parliamentary democracy. It's become more and more obvious to me that our congress – and particularly the Senate – is primarily a bunch of partisan crooks beholden to whatever group or corporation fills their trough.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  4. Thomas

    I'm starting to think we need term limits in the Senate. It seems like people keep getting reelected to the Senate simply because citizens recognize their names, not because of their accomplishments – and this is harmful to our government. If the President is limited to 2 terms totaling 8 years, why shouldn't our senators be limited to 3 terms (for 18 years).

    February 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  5. Phyllis Buckner .. Oklahoma

    It just goes to show you where some house cleaning needs to be done... rather, Senate cleaning. It is a shame that the "Just Say No" croud is going to keep this country in limbo another eight years, like they did during the Clinton administration, with the hope of getting it back, so they can finish destroying it. The country didn't get this way in the past 12 months. It is hard to reverse something that is already on a slippery slope. Funny how, when they controlled all three branches of government, that was just fine. Now, they are saying that is a bad thing??

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  6. Scott

    Two words...term limits. That way, our legislators will spend less time worrying about getting re-elected, giving them more time to address the problems of our nation.

    Scott, New Jersey

    February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  7. Matt

    In short, yes! What are they thinking and where is this money coming from? Taxpayers? It feels like you know the president of your company is using petty cash to buy himself a brand new, shiney BMW while you're driving a beat up pick-up truck.

    Matt
    Pittsburgh

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  8. Darren from Minneapolis

    Jack, I think the biggest obstacle to Washington getting anything done are the archaic and continuously abused Senate rules. Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible for this mess in the Senate – since neither party wants to change the rules for fear of ending up in the minority position and not having any ability to stop legislation they don't like. It's hyper-partisanship run amok, which is what Washington appears to be all about these days. It's sad, just sad.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  9. Gigi Oregon

    They can't. Take the people tax monies, and pay down the national debt. So the Republicans can run it up again next term. Isn't that the way it's done. I love it how we like to play shame on you to the other countries, Government has their noses in the air so high they can't see they are walking in their own refuse.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Gus from California

    Time to set aside the filibuster rule. More than one good idea has been killed by abuse. Intended to slow the tyranny of the majority and give voice to the oppressed minority, it's current use is merely a tactic in partisan wars to political advantage. Nothing at all to do with the business of governing. The Senate need desperately to survive as an institution, and that means make whatever rule changes are necessary to get something done.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Don Ritchie

    The filibuster should be paired to the quorum. 2/3rd's of those present on the floor at any given time should be able to force cloture. You wanna filibuster: all 41 of you are sleeping at your desks!

    Don in Louisiana

    February 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  12. Carolyn O'Daly

    I say fire them. How come we don't have a government that can be dissolved when it becomes ineffective? If the rest of the country did their jobs like the Senate does they'd all get fired. They should either pass the bills or dump them and move on. Who the hell do they think they are?
    Edgartown, MA

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Steve

    Since Pelosi is blaming the Republicans for abusing the filibuster, does that mean that all of these bills piled up in the last month since Scott Brown was elected? Prior to that, the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  14. Ronald Wiggins

    Jack, Every knows; should know; or will know that we have a Corporate own political system. Lobbyist get everything they wasnt for their Corporate clients from our government then leave the crumb behing for the peolple. History never really changes, just the day!

    P.S. Check out Bloom Energy new product.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  15. Michael

    Surprise, surprise. Harry and Nancy blame the Republican for "abusing" the filibuster. Wow, I'm impressed. The House has managed to pass 290 bills in the past three weeks. It has to be the case because before Brown took his seat in the Senate, the Republicans DIDN'T HAVE THE VOTES TO STOP ANYTHING!

    Standard Democrat Operating Procedure. Tell a lie over and over until people believe it to be true.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  16. Jane - WI

    Barack Obama and Congressman Chris Van Hollen recently said that this Congress has accomplished more than any Congress of our generation. Which is it? They are the most successful in recent history or nothing has been accomplished?
    There has been plenty accomplished. What the Dems and the media are in a tizzy about is that most of this administration's radical agenda has been put on hold -- thankfully.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  17. lawrence scott

    Lets put them in a bind. Lets ask the republicans why it is ok for my taxes to fund universal healthcare for all isarelis but its socialism for my taxes to pay healthcare for other Americans? But I have a feeling Mr. Cafferty that you don't want any part of that discussion........lol

    February 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  18. Cliff

    Forget about the GOP and their mindscrew tactics and MOVE ON!

    Arizona

    February 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  19. JD

    Well I guess the first question to ask is exactly how many bills have been filibustered? I suspect the number is ZERO. Can anybody name one bill? This boils down to leadership which is abysmal. The government is broken, as evidenced by the fact the House has passed 290 bills. Do we really need that much legislation every year? Legislation is being passed for the sake of passing legislation despite its merit. Time for a House cleaning.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  20. Frank from CA

    Here's how, Obama needs to step it up and start this thing he called "Change" . He needs to make congress understand these are not republican or democrat issues they are American issues. Unfortunately, when someone goes to Washington they forget they are Americans and they turn into these Republican or Democrat monsters who only care about themselves.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  21. Tim in Texas

    The blame on this one goes to the GOP. They have threatened filibuster on 85% of all bills. That's about double of any other session of Congress.
    Some of the bills passed by the house passed with majorities of amounts like 495 to 5, so it's not like they are things that the GOP doesn't want to pass on principle – they just want to block everything. They thrive on the notion that Government is Broken - essentially that's their strategy to get elected.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  22. Dylan from Pennsylvania

    Jack, let's be frank; it can't. The worst part is that election day won't help. It's hard to get leaders in office when a minority stake (aka the republican and democratic parties) control the strings for how this is done.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  23. Mari, Utah

    Thank YOU, Republicans! You really know how to support our Nation!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  24. John-Smithfield, UT

    This is even more of a reason to make a clean sweep of all incumbents in the next election. Republicans, Democrats and Independents that have served more than one term should all be voted out. It's time the people showed their public servants just who really runs this country.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  25. Jim

    NO WORK... NO PAY... stop paying them for the job they ARE NOT DOING, and don't pay them until they are caught up with the backlog

    February 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  26. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Can’t these unpatriotic fools be cited and removed from office for contempt of Congress? Oh, wait a minute, these fools ARE Congress!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  27. JuneDenver

    Don't blame the republicans. The Democrats had 60 votes on the senate, and they chose to do nothing. So much for hope and change. Yes we can't.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  28. Lee

    Jack,
    One of the bills stalled in the Senate is a law that would allow homeowners to stay in their homes after a foreclosure as renters for up to five years. This has no cost to the tax payers and could help with with maintaining property values as these homes would not fall into disrepair. Passed by the house it has all but disappeared in committee. This partisan bickering has frozen the passage of laws that could keep people in thir homes!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  29. Brett M

    Probably not. What they should do is cut the senate terms down to four years, if not two. At least then the senators will have to think of what the people want instead of what their party wants.

    Brett M, Sioux Falls SD

    February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  30. Joseph Kavanaugh

    Jack,
    This is just the case as where mommy says yes and daddy says no to little bill...Mommy and daddy need to get together so all the little bills get an answer one way or another so uncle Obama & Aunt Pelosi dosent have to get involved. Someday there should be one big family reuniuon to resolve all the little bills requests.. The senate must remember, all the little bills were created by the PEOPLE. The people are getting a little sick and tired of mommy and daddy being unable to make a decision on little bills future. Sounds like another disfunctional family among us dosent it?

    Postal Joe

    Rock Hill, NY

    February 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  31. Vern

    If I was a Senator I would either be retiring or look for another job. Let's face it the whole bunch should be replaced in the next two election cycles. Time for the voting public to remind them who pays the bills. AND if you want to blame it on the fillibuster, vote to change it back to the 70's, break out the cots and spend a few sleepless night on the senate floor. Let's face it you whiny over paid jerks, the time has come BYE BYE

    February 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  32. John,

    Jack,
    This is more proof that NOTHING works in Washington DC any more.
    Lets abolish the two party system & go to a Parlimentary Democracy. This would be the end of the Imperial President & in place would be a Chief Executive being accountable to the Legislature & capable of being removed by a majority vote of the Legislature.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  33. lucy from lancaster pa

    i'd be with the throw-the-bums out crowd if that would leave us with a gop majority that would be worse than the bush administration. apparently no one read the majority rules part of democracy – neither the republicans, who are having a major issue with testosterone poinsoning, ala darth cheney, nor the democrats, who don't seem to get that they are not supposed to be a herd of cats – apparently neutered cats. this is pathetic.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  34. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    With his vote on the jobs bill Senator Brown has demonstrated how to do the job. Maybe more and more Republicans will catch on and start acting responsibly.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  35. John

    Maybe it's good everything is stalled. A round about way to keep the government out of our lives. I for one am glad to see them bogged down. I think in the long run the less they can get accomplished the better we all are, especially on the spending side. If they are tied up they can't spend us into oblivion. Let's hope it continues.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  36. G. Daniels

    Can senators be recalled? If so, recalled them until they get it right.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  37. Michelle Adam

    Just wow is about all i can say. the house seems to be working hard whether you agree or not on what they are passing they at least are working. The senate on the other hand seems to be satisfied with just arguing and blaming each other for not working. well i say grow a pair you greedy lazy senators and take a stand and get some work done. I truly hope none and I mean zero of the senators i do not care what party the belong to get reelected.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  38. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Is the government broken? Sure it is, but we must come to understand the government is but a mirror to society. We are also broken.

    We shift our own shame with blame, we build impenetrable walls as ideological total-ists, we cannot interact without judgment, there is little trust or compassion, and worst of all reverence for life in America is a fleeting emotion.

    When we each decide to become dedicated to reality we can begin to heal ourselves, it is then we can begin to help heal the world.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  39. Dagoh Johnny

    Require that bills be grouped and amended only with relevant attachments to the topic at hand. Filibusters are used to prevent bills named harmlessly from passing with grossly unrelated attachments and provisions. You want a courthouse name? Fine, pass the courthouse name. But stop trying to pass a courthouse naming bill with pork attachments and major political ramifications, and then complain that a courthouse naming bill was unnecessarily filibustered.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  40. Edward

    The Republican party is holding it's breath until it gets it's way and the Democrats can't get along with each other. When's recess? And I mean the kind where you go out to the playground? When did we replace Congress with a bunch of spoiled five year old kids? If they aren't going to do their jobs cut off their pay and benefits until they start working together to do the people's business. Guess why we can't do that? They hold the purse strings. Everyone is saying vote them out but people need to put their money where their mouths are. Voting them out doesn't mean voting the other party out it means voting ALL of them out and starting over. They fired all the teachers in that Rhode Island school, it's high time we fired Congress!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  41. SHAWN FROM KY

    There is only one side of Government that is broken, and one must be totally blind if they can't see that Republicans are to blame. The only reason they aren't willing to sign on to anything is because they fear the bills in the senate being a success. This would be a huge plus for the Obama administration. Republicans are purposely allowing our nation to suffer in hopes it will guarantee them picking up a couple seats. Therefore, hard working Americans will continue to struggle needlessly.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  42. Mark in Arkansas

    In two words, Jack, they can't. And THAT's what is wrong with our government. Yes, it's broken, but it's been broken for so many years that no one has noticed. Broken has become "business as usual".

    February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  43. Ken

    Incompetent, tone-deaf hyopcrites. In 2005, Democrats said "reconciliation" was against the founding fathers, an arrogant abuse of power. But that was then, this is now.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  44. DIck

    By doing nothing they are actually doing the American people a great service. Much of what they do is unnecessary and burdensome so in point of fact the inactivity is welcome.

    Before the current group of knuckleheads got involved we rarely had pieces of legislation that ran into the thousands of pages. A never did we have legislation that was drafted behind closed doors in the dead of night.

    Thank heaven for the up-coming mid-term elections.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  45. Edward

    We pay an awful lot of money for a broken system. Can we not impeach these jerks? They are working for us.

    Why do we have to wait to get rid of these vermin. Give them 30 days and out they go. No pension and no medical period.

    Do the countrys business now.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  46. Mike B. Cordova, TN.

    To say the least, this is wearing thin. Our representatives talk tough, but can't pull their foot out of they muck they made. I vote.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  47. steve

    Its like when you spoil a child and always let them have there way and now its time to grow up and be an adult and you don't always get your way so you revert back to sitting on your hands and not try to get anything accomplish. The Republicans have become that spoiled child!!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  48. Rich of CO

    How can Washington accomplish anything if 435 elected officials keep blaming each other?

    February 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  49. Francis K. Ibara

    Have all Congressmen serve 2 terms only. We have too many "obsolete" old folks in Congress who are complascent with old minds.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  50. CK

    No No No! Its WRONG,Its WRONG,Its Unconscionable. Petition people!

    February 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  51. Maverick

    The Republican Corporate Socialists are vying to return to power. They weren’t satisfied with fighting two wars without any attempt to pay for them. Nor were they satisfied with letting Wall Street and the banking system go nearly unregulated destroying the American economy and exploding our national debt. Until these hypocrites take blame for their actions America and it’s middle class may be doomed to yet another round of Republican corporate attacks. The rich in this country have mostly survived this recession and even profited from it. This is truly something to just say no to.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  52. Pam in Long Beach, CA

    This is another example of how dysfunctional the legislative branch of our government has become. The Republicans need to stop whinning about how they are being treated, when they treated the Democrats the same way when they had control. The Democrats need to stop playing "tit for tat" and include the Republicans in the legislative process. The Democrats appear to have members from the right, the middle and the left who vote their conscience. The Reublicans have some moderate members, but the leadership has them scared be so bold as to vote their conscience. We really need more members of Congress like Evan Bayh who will work for a consensus. THAT is what the citizens of this country want.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  53. Dan

    A super majority. Not just a majority. Dems should be ashamed.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  54. Chad from Los Angeles

    Our senate is not representative of the people anymore. When Senators from Alaska or Montana have just as much power as Senators from California, that is a serious problem.

    We need some kind of executive order to bypass the Senate and pass bills with just the House approval.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  55. Joe R - Houston

    This is the best news since learning that snow storms shut down DC for nearly a week! Pray for more snow and hopelessly deadlocked partisan disagreement between short sighted proponents of socialism and corporatism. It's our only hope for any real beneficial change.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  56. Bill in California

    If you liked the Keystone Cops and the 3 Stooges you've got to love this Democratic ruled Congress. No direction and lots of arm twisting.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
  57. ADS-Seattle

    Jack–the answer to your question is obvious. Washington will accomplish nothing without some break in the Senate deadlock. I fear that is exactly what the Republicans want. No action means no Demoncratic Party and no Obama victories. The Republicans will then resort to their usual disingenuous ways by charging the Democrats with being incapable of governing.

    The solution? Harry Reid has to find the political courage to invoke budget reconciliation when ever possible. If he is unable to at least hold together 51 of his members, well....maybe the Republicans are right. The Democrats cannot govern.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  58. Reed

    This is a real puzzler for me. For just about a year the Democrats could have passed anything at anytime. The Republicans could have just stayed at home. Did they?They were mostly irrelevant to the governing process. Most people would use the term "walkover".
    And now? Reid and Pelosi say it's those zany Republicans who are blocking all of these bills?
    I can hardly wait for the Independents to come to Washington in 2012.
    We'll never get the new freeway named that goes by my house!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  59. run4est

    Maybe the people in the Senate arent as loony as the Democractic Moonbats in the House and accutualy read the proposed legislation.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  60. Jim

    To me this shows that our government is working exactly as it was designed. There is a reason that our founding fathers created a bicameral legislature and not a unicameral legislature. This again shows the wisdom of our founding fathers in designing our governmental system.

    Orlando, FL

    February 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  61. Matt C

    Sometimes the best thing our government can do for us is nothing. I commend the Senate for doing nothing. It gives me less stuff to worry about.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  62. Ramiro

    It won't Jack. These elected officials seem to care more about getting their way than helping this country and its people to get back on the right track. I think that it is time for their terms to be shortened. Plain and simple.
    -Ramiro
    Santa Ana

    February 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  63. Jack

    The Senators are waiting for the lobbyists to tell them where they stand.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  64. Juanita

    Jack, have you ever been so sick to your stomach that it makes your head hurt, that is what these people in Washington do to me. They disgust me to the point of no return...why can't they get anything done...I know, maybe it's because their only concern is themselves...I bet if it was about a self increas pay raise it would be done in a matter of minutes. Mr. President I knew you had alot on your hands with this Bush diseaster but a disfunctional congress isn't something I thought you would have to deal with...sorry.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  65. Jim Renfro

    As I see it, the republican'ts are in the pocket of big business....The demidon'ts have joined them in the money free for all...and I believe they find themselves having been bought by the same folks....therefore they are damned if they do and damned if they don't....Hell of a mess....We have the best politicians money can buy....none of them are accountable to the public, and it appears they don't care........Money's too good........ Nederland Texas

    February 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  66. sajjad nasir

    Well It's simple Remove that Fillabuster rule and they will we see these bills get through the senate

    sajjad from

    cooper city

    February 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  67. jaydub in seattle

    This is not surprising as there's long been evidence that our government is broken. I would have liked to see the legislation last year to stop our government officials from getting a pay raise while so many Americans were losing jobs – not that significant a dollar amount in terms of our annual budget, but, it would have been a message to the people that they actually care. It must be nice to make $170k to do virtually nothing but spit rhetoric from one's mouth.

    Both parties need to share the blame and start working (not campaigning) for the people. Get the lobbyists out of Washington and start limiting the control of corporations and financial institutions when it comes to legislation. Wow, now there's a profound idea.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  68. steve- virginia beach

    They completed step one- identifying the problem. The next step, identifying the cause of the problem will require them to develop skills in critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Common sense would be helpful but can't be developed without the formerly-mentioned skills. If they do accomplish this, they'll realize that the Republicans couldn't possibly be holding up progress since the Democrats control both houses of Congress and with a Senate supermajority until only 3 weeks ago. Once the Dems realize that they're the problem, they can go to step three- developing a solution. Or the voters can develop a solution this November. Our founding fathers were geniuses!!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  69. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    The solution is actually found in today's first question.
    President Obama and all the senators and congressmen can solve the inaction and gridlock by concentrating totally on their individual re-election and fundraising campaigns. That way they will all be busy doing what they love the most, and the American people can drag the country out of the deep recession without having to worry about inept, corrupt government interference.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  70. Ed, CA

    Its easy, they can't.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  71. Chris in KC, KS

    The supermajority argument is a fallacy–though Lieberman "caucases" with the Dems, he is to blame for single-handedly stalling healthcare legislation as he conveniently became a Republican on the issue. He was the real 41st vote for the GOP. It is absurd that they couldn't get over that first hump 9 months ago, and unless the Dems start acting more like the GOP of 2000-2006, they will never pass a single bill.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  72. Alejandro Paschalides

    Given their record for screwing things up. Do we really want them to pass more bills?

    February 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  73. carla

    The republicans and media that fuels this behavior is to blame the republicans are not right and the media feeds the stupid

    February 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  74. Joseph from Michigan

    "...Republicans who are "abusing" their right to filibuster." *cough*

    - Can I filibuster my student loans until their is a job out there for me?, my forbearance time is running out.... the Governments time has run out and they are not paying..... why must I?

    February 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  75. David from Raleigh, NC

    The Senate does a public service by blocking a good part of the liberal, leftist, socialist, and marxist legislation that originates in the Democrat Controlled House.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  76. Shawn Hanlon

    Take the Rhode Island school approach and fire them all!!!!!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  77. Jay

    By getting rid of the filibuster. When Democrats used it to block Bush's judicial appointments, the GOP threatened to use this "nuclear option" to kill the filibuster. But ever since losing the Senate, Republicans have filibustered at double the rate Democrats did, blocking even routine bills in an effort to hamstring the majority. This is abuse, and it needs to stop.

    Jay
    Birmingham, AL

    February 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  78. Jerry Cape Cod

    Take a tip from the rhode island school system and fire all of them!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  79. Luis Rodrigues

    According to what I perceive from the news media, we have a “lobbyistic” system in our government where special interests (like insurance companies) rule by donating big amounts of money to some of the congressmen, organizations, or parties. Obviously, if the health insurance is resolved in favor of the people, that money will stop flowing, and that will make some of the congressmen and their organizations very unhappy. To prevent that, I believe, they will come up with all possible excuses, scare tactics, and actions to delay the process as much as possible.
    Some of these congressmen, instead of being driven by “lobbyists” contributions, they should instead listen to the people. Otherwise our government system will no longer be a democracy but a “lobbycracy”.
    In conclusion, to pass health insurance and other critical issues, and to get the system back as a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, the corrupted “lobbyism” practices should be also reformed.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  80. CC, Atlanta

    It's time to remove the Senate members, I'm starting by ousting the Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss, Phil Gingrey...OUT With the Incumbents. Republicans only are offering NO solutions and not working for their keep. They are like children who gets mad and want to take their ball home. How can we get change when they offer no new solutions, and nothing more but to sit on their hands while their constituents are suffering. ALL INCUMBENTS (Republicans or Democrats) who are stalling will see defeat when it's their time.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  81. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    The answer is easy. There are too many teabaggers and corporate shills and not enough progressives.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  82. Joel Weymouth

    Even the most elementary student of civics would tell you that the founding fathers made passing legislation very difficult. Leave well enough alone – name me one time where the Federal Government meddled in a positive way. 67% of people are against Obamacare -why should they pass it? Passing laws are not a measure of success for Congress. Prosperity and Peace is the measure of success, we have neither -that is why they have a 10% approval rating and 35% believe the country is on the wrong track.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  83. Mike

    Nothing gets passed because Republicans are acting like babies because they lost the election. Things are not going to get any better if the next Presidential election happens and Republicans win, then Democrats will be acting like babies. We're pushing democracy on other countries and can't even make our own function.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  84. Mike

    Jack,
    You can bet your sweet...donkey...that if those bills contained pay raises or increased benefits for our Congressmen, they wouldn't be stalled!!!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  85. Tamara, Daly City, CA

    Two hundred-ninety bills backed up in the Senate is a good start, but I won't celebrate until there are at least five hundred bills stalled in the Senate. Spending taxpayers money when the US Treasury is empty is a vice, not a virtue.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  86. kathy

    every single person needs to send a letter or email to their representative in DC. The message: I voted you in and i'll vote you out, unless you stop this childish partisan crap; your job is to help the people of this country, not stonewall the other party. Explain to me how this behaviour differs from the way kids fight in grade school.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  87. Imre

    Jack, The answer is simple – do away with the senate. They are doing nothing, most normal people would be fired if they showed the same lack of performance as the senate. Who needs them anyway, Senators are just a bunch of self serving jerks on the take from the special interests.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  88. Scope, Memphis

    Jack, the House and Senate have little to do with writing legislation and deciding what will be passed. That's all managed by the folks down on K Street who, in turn, are funded by and report to those whose last names are "Incorporated."

    February 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  89. Craig

    Legend has it that Thomas Jefferson once asked George Washington what the purpose of the Senate was. According to the first president, the point of that legislative body was to cool legislation, just as a saucer cools tea. Perhaps the Senate is now just performing in a manner in which it was always suppose to?

    February 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  90. Ken in NC

    The goals of the Republicans are being accomplished by stalling everything in the Senate with a filibuster. With the Senate that backed up, I would suggest they are all in dire need of a laxative.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  91. EB

    The answer is CLEAR the HOUSE (and the SENATE, too) – NONE of them deserve to be re-elected!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  92. Shawn

    Jack, usually I agree with you 100%, but you are WAY off base blaming Democrats for the massive back log of bills in the Senate. Did the Democrats make up the 60 vote limit for the fillibuster? NO! Did the Democrats tell the Republicans to fillibuster EVERY single bill? NO! Likewise do you honestly think that Lieberman, and several other incredibly conservative Democrats with large numbers of obstinate Republicans in their district are going to side with anyone other than the Republicans? This is solely the fault of Republicans, PERIOD. Don't blame people for things they couldn't force others to do.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  93. Marty

    can't do it Jack.These people are not looking out for us,they're looking to be re-elected because the benefits we all pay them,are too good to leave behind.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  94. Saurabh

    Only if their life depended on it.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  95. SHAWN FROM KY

    There is only one side of Government that is broken, and one must be totally blind if they can't see that Republicans are to blame. The only reason they aren't willing to sign on to anything is because they fear the bills in the senate being a success. This would be a huge plus for the Obama administration. Republicans are purposely allowing our nation to suffer in hopes it will guarantee them picking up a couple seats. Therefore, hard working Americans will continue to struggle needlessly

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  96. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Washington needs a good housecleaning and there is no better time to start than the present. The current Congress long ago lost sight of why they are there and what they were sent there to do. Send them all home.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  97. Jon McDaniel

    It would be nice if bills were actually decided upon their merits rather than party affiliation. The fact that some Democrats have different opinions than Sen Reid is not nearly as dispicable as that all 40 Republicans have the same opinion as their leader.l

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  98. Charles

    While the democrats are in disagreement the republicans have all agreed to say "NO" in perfect unison !

    Charles
    GJ Colorado

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  99. daniel wang

    All senators should be temporarily unemployed until all the bills are acted on.

    Marlboro, NJ

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  100. Naked Adam

    No one will get anything done until Americans recapture that creative genius made famous by Ben Franklin: like solve our out of control pets AND embassy security problems by putting that Orlando killer whale in the billiion dollar London embassy moat! And who "plays" in front of children with the only animal on earth that has the word "killer" in its name???

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  101. Daniel D

    290 bills stalled??? I can't only think of how many billions of dollars are we the taxpayers saving since it seems that the only bills these people can vote is for more pork or more entitlements

    February 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  102. Jack, Dayton, NV

    Let's be thankful they CAN'T get anything done. The most prosperous times for the U.S. have been with a different party in the Whitehouse than controls Congress. Makes sense to me.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  103. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    Jack,

    The way to accomplish something in the Senate would be for the people to vote against the incumbent whether Republican or Democrat or Independent until we have nothing but freshman Senators... Maybe at that point we will have people in there who are there to serve the interests of the American people instead of multinational corporations and banks.

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    February 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  104. stanton d. allaben

    If the Senate, in its collective membership, had half a brain, (which we all know it does not), it would take a "time out" from discussions of the big bills that none of them can agree on, and bring up the smaller bills that enough of them do agree on to get them passed, there would be no 290 bill backup.
    Unfortunately, we are dealing with individuals who value self interest more than the welfare of the American people so stagmire will persist.
    Solution?? Vote all of them out of office AGAIN! At some point enough eelected representatives will get the message. At least, I hope so.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  105. mr mike

    The toxic partisanship in Washington has to come to an end. But really, would we even recognize our capitol if that were to actually happen? Nothing more American than gridlock.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  106. Jessica

    When will these politicians learn that they are employed by the PEOPLE? I think they should do their jobs instead of bickering and blaming all day, or maybe the American people will have to kick them out of their positions and get the jobs done themselves. We are all getting sick of being "represented" by politicians that refuse to listen.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  107. Shawn

    The Republicans have made it entirely clear to me they wouldn't literally pass a bill to save our lives, much less our country as long as Obama is signing the bills. So how is that Democrats fault again? It isn't.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  108. Jerry Dallas TX

    the Senate is working on those bills: they have placed them out for auction to the highest bidder.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  109. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This what is called "a hot mess", no more and no less, it's just a hot mess and that's all that can be said.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  110. joe vallina

    just maybe we could get just 5 members of the GOP to give a damn about the country, and not just getting the control of congress back

    we may even think that it is just not common sense to believe that every member of the GOP is against every bill...

    and like many Americas I wonder why we need 60 votes on every issue.
    it is disgusting that the media including you, act as if it is the Democrats fault that govt is stalled...when the stated purpose of the GOP is to get the president out of office and go back to the polices that got us in this damn mess..

    February 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  111. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    Maybe we could all go to Washington during Cherry Blossom time and sing "Kumbaya" with you and Wolf leading. What the hell, nothing else works.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  112. Jennifer

    Let's set up a wrestling ring and let them fight it out. Maybe more people would pay attention and more would be accomplished. Sell tickets so it can go to our mounding deficit.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  113. Matt

    They can start by making decisions and votes that aren't based on their party or their chances of being re-elected. We need term limits in congress... but who would have to pass such an amendment? Sad.

    Philadelphia, birthplace of modern democracy

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  114. Shawn Butler Kellogg, Id.

    Hey Jack,
    I've been waiting for this one. I blame the American people. 94%Americans make less than $100,000 a year. But at election time we keep electing millionaires to represent us in congress. People have forgotten high school. The only time the rich kids speak to you is when they need your vote...ie student council, homecoming queen etc.
    Well those kids now do the same thing as adults when running for congress. So its our fault, Jack......we keep sending the same people hoping for different results. The American people needs to wake up and vote accordingly.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  115. Jack Moran

    Jack, the problem is with the Republicans. Why do they need to filibuster everything? They won't let bills be voted on so that our majority rules democracy can work. 60 votes should not be required for everything.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  116. William Payne

    I agree with you Jack. Democrats are their own worst enemy. The republicans used reconciliation when they were the majority. The DEMS need to get in step and start marching.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  117. David

    My thought is to declare the Republican party as a danger to the National Security of the United States! All their lying, hypocritical accusations is a bit much. And while you can expect that not every Democrat might vote with their party, it makes absolutely no sense that 90pct or better of Republicans are voting against bills that would benefit ordinary citizens! The only other choice is to fire all of them and while we're at it, reduce the life term appointments of the Supreme court justices to maximum 3-years. If we all had lifetime appointments to our jobs, then we wouldn't have this unemployment situation, would we?

    February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  118. Mary Lou

    There is a solution to the Senate gridlock. Since our bicameral legislature is modeled on the British Parliament, I suggest we adapt changes made in modern times to that historic body to improve our own legislative process. As in our Congress, all legislation except money bills must pass both Houses of Parliament. EXCEPT, if a bill passed by the House of Commons is not passed by the House of Lords for two legislative sessions, the House of Commons can pass it over the objections of the House of Lords in a third legislative session. This provides enough obstruction to slow down or cancel out bills that are ill-considered or poorly written, but not so much that the House of Lords can bring legislation to a screeching halt, as our Senate does. I think it is a system that we should seriously consider since the Senate is thoroughly broken and has become incapable of action.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  119. ada, fl

    the majority is in charge! if the senate majority, can`t not come into agreement to help the american people then Mr. reed you must GO...

    February 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  120. Doug

    The answer is Washington can't, AND WILL NEVER, accomplish anything important to the people. There is way too much bickering between the parties, and the lobbyists aren't making the job any easier. I am 36 and they have been talking about health care reform almost every day and definitely every election. It's almost ridiculous really that our public servants don't want to agree on health care reform. It's not that they can't. They don't want to. And that is part of the problem which is holding this country back. The parties need to work together in order to solve the important problems facing our nation. As I tell my employees, if you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem. And unfortunately, Washington is full of a bunch of old dogs which will simply not hunt (except for their own dinner).

    February 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  121. Jack Crumbley

    The House was designed to be responsive to the people. The Senate was designed to slow the process and prevent the government from being carried away on the tide of fickle public opinion. The Senate should hold up bad bills, no matter how many of them there are. We have forgotten that the Constitution was written as a plan not only to provide government for the people, but also to protect them from that government. Watching some of the comments that were made in House committees today, we really do need protection from those buffoons.

    February 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  122. Andre Samuels

    Jack
    I would love to blame the Democrats for not acting in a more uniform manner but I really don't. I don't think it's healthy for a democracy that it's parties demand absolute fidelity. Watching as the GOP filibusters every bill they can,just because they can I have come to the realization that our nation has devolved into the factionalism our founders warned us about. I could understand blocking democrat proposals but the GOP is even blocking their own and they get away with it because of incomplete analysis and punditry by people like you in the press. You have more disdain for the fact that democrats don't behave in the same lock step factional way the GOP does. How about some outrage for the GOP putting party ahead of country

    February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  123. Lynda Clark

    We are in the middle of the "Great Recession" and our economy is teetering on complete failure and our elected officials still don"t get it? My God what is it going to take for these people to put aside their GIANT egos and get down to work and figure out how to fix the financial mess we are in. That's how they will get re-elected...not by abusing the filibuster option. They need to grow up, leave their egos at the door, embrace bipartisanship and get our country back in shape so people can get back to work!

    February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  124. Harry Lime

    Jack,
    Don't think that just because the House passed these bills that they are good or even necessary. Most don't deserve to go further. The Senate is doing it's job.

    Harry
    Tampa

    February 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  125. Marlene

    290 stalled bills? Is that a bad thing? In my mind, that's an accomplishment.

    Freehold, NJ

    February 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm |