Politics: Divided new Congress is getting little accomplished - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsDivided new Congress is getting little accomplished

01:40  16 april  2019
01:40  16 april  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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“With a divided Congress , getting controversial bills passed becomes more difficult on things like immigration and health care,” Pelosi said Thursday. “ Divided government is different than unified government, so we're not going to be working off the president's or Republican's agenda for what to

The question dividing Congress is what kind of reform we should have, and how it should be implemented. About 9.4 billion students that take out new loans will see their rates double. But it is important to realize that students with current loans are not going to receive increased rates for the

Divided new Congress is getting little accomplished© Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/TNS (L-R), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), confer during a ceremony awarding former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole the Congressional Gold Medal at the U.S. Capitol on January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

WASHINGTON - Congress has passed just 12 new measures since January.

One modifies pay for podiatrists working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another renames a vets center in North Ogden, Utah. A third revises the charter of the National Future Farmers of America Organization.

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Can Trump get anything accomplished now that the Congress is split? Related Questions. How divided is the United States Congress ? What is congress to you? Will our divided government accomplish anything meaningful in the next two years?

“With a divided Congress , getting controversial bills passed becomes more difficult on things like immigration and health care,” Pelosi said Thursday. “ Divided government is different than unified government, so we're not going to be working off the president's or Republican's agenda for what to

Democrats, who control the House, blame Republicans who control the Senate - namely Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. - for not considering the bills the House sends over.

"Leader McConnell has turned the Senate into a legislative graveyard for priorities the American people care about," said Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

McConnell grinned at the characterization that House bills were going nowhere in the Senate.

"I think that's pretty accurate, yeah," he told the Los Angeles Times. "They've been busy here in the first part of the Congress sending us things that have - shall I say - no potential in the Senate. And I understand that there's a new majority. They want to lay out, you know, how they feel about things."

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The 116th United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Will anything get accomplished with the divided Congress ? Trump has not really accomplished anything to date. Congress is not now split but rather has a Democratic majority. I believe he will continue to accomplish little . The rhetoric may shift now to how the Democratic house is impeding

Democrats flush with a new House majority after nearly a decade in the minority are sending over a rash of bills most political watchers believe have little chance of passing the Senate, such as universal background checks for gun purchases, net neutrality, climate change, congressional ethics, expanding voter access, raising the minimum wage and more.

Still, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she's optimistic.

"Public sentiment will weigh in, and the Senate will see ... that many of the pieces of legislation that we have passed or (are) about to pass are 70 percent to 80 percent bipartisanly and nonpartisanly supported by the American people," Pelosi said. "And (Republicans) will either act upon the legislation or be accountable to the public for why they do not."

She noted that both chambers were essentially at a standstill in January during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

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This bitterly divided Congress will surely be remembered for its showdowns over government spending, but what exactly has it accomplished with half of the two-year Republicans swept into the House majority promising the American people that business as usual was over. No more earmarks.

In the United States, divided government describes a situation in which one party controls the executive branch while another party controls one or both houses of the legislative branch.

Of the more than 4,000 bills filed before Congress left for a two-week spring recess, the House has passed 188. The Senate has passed about 100, including many Republican priorities that the House won't likely take up.

President Donald Trump vetoed one, which would have overridden his executive order declaring a national emergency at the southern border. In total, just 12 bill have passed both chambers and been signed into law.

Two of the largest-scale bills that have become law include a major lands package that has been in the works for years, and pay for federal workers not paid while the government was shut down in December and January.

Meanwhile, historically bipartisan issues that have been considered by the Senate, like billions of dollars in disaster aid have failed.

The Senate has been largely focused in the last few months on approving nominees to fill vacancies within the Trump administration, something that doesn't require input from the House. Since the beginning of the year, senators have confirmed more than 200 nominees to positions in the executive branch, circuit courts and district courts, including confirming David Bernhardt to be the new Interior secretary Thursday.

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Congress is slow, open, divided , and not well matched to handle more rapid executive action or do a good job of overseeing such activity, according to one A new session commences on January 3 each year, unless Congress decides differently. The Constitution requires Congress meet at least once

"So much is getting dumped on Congress at once," says Lewis, " that there is sand in the gears. None of this means this Congress will get nothing done. Republicans have already managed to pass a handful of laws even amid the cabinet confirmation furor, and will likely continue to roll back some

McConnell called confirming the nominations, especially the judicial positions, part of his legacy.

"The impact on the courts has been enormous and positive for the country - young men and women that we've been confirming as rapidly as possible who believe the job of a judge is to follow the law," McConnell said.

Senate Republicans accused Democrats of dragging their feet on nominations by requiring the full 30 hours of available debate time to pass for each, and they recently changed the chamber's rules to reduce the time senators get to consider many positions.

"He is hanging his entire hat on putting all these judges in," Schumer said, "and I don't think history is going to look kindly on either the way he's changed the rules to do that (or), more importantly, how the Senate has done so little on the major issues of the day when the American people are crying out."

It's not unusual for legislative action to slow down when congressional power is divided between the parties. In 2011, when Republicans took control of the House and Barack Obama was president, only nine new laws had passed by April 15.

Both McConnell and Pelosi indicated they saw areas for common ground ahead.

"We'll find a way to do some business together," McConnell said.

Pelosi said she's heartened by talk of bipartisan agreement on infrastructure and lowering prescription drug prices. For years, legislative leaders have said those two topics could be a place the two parties could work together, but actual movement on both has been difficult.

McConnell said he, Pelosi and Trump have begun talking about a deal to raise discretionary spending limits.

McConnell also said that Congress needed to address immigration in a meaningful way, another topic that has proved to be intractable in Washington for years.

"The American people have given us divided government again. They do that frequently. As all of you probably know, we've had divided government more often than not since World War II, so we need to get used to the fact that the power is divided," McConnell said. "We're working our way toward having rational bipartisan discussions of things that can only be solved together."

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Trump: I have not read Mueller report, 'though I have every right to do so'.
President Trump said Saturday he has not yet read special counsel Robert Mueller's final report, which was delivered to the Justice Department late last month.

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