Perspective: It's Obvious Why Congress Can't Do Its Job

Sep 28, 2020

Even though we face an impending election it is easier to recount what Congress has not done than what it has done. It has not renewed a single pandemic relief bill that it allowed to expire. Instead, members went home for August.

Executive agencies filled the gap with executive orders of dubious legality. The Centers for Disease Control banned evictions for renters whose delinquency was the result of the virus. That's right -- the CDC. The President issued various executive orders that provided relief that should be provided through legislation. Governing through executive order is supplanting governing through the law.

At the same time that Congress is not legislating to address pandemic problems it is not legislating to create a budget. The fiscal year begins in October, yet Congress has not passed a single appropriations bill. Even this Congress will not risk the otherwise required shutdown 40 days before an election, so they passed a continuing resolution in a shameful spectacle of "kicking the can down the road" .

Why can't Congress legislate to assist pandemic victims or to adopt a budget? Because to legislate requires reaching across the aisle and demonstrating a willingness to compromise. In a Congress riven by hyper-partisanship, apparently it is preferable to do nothing than to commit the ultimate sin of compromise.

I'm Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.