It’s easy, actually very easy, to credit party politics for government dysfunction these days. So while Congress headed out of Washington this week (12:20 a.m. Thursday for the House) without dealing with the soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts, there was at least a little joy in some comments that accompanied the action.
In other words, some Democrats were downright upset that they didn’t stay and do their job (their words). In fact, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to cast a tiebreaking vote to allow for adjournment after 39 members of her caucus wanted to vote on tax cut extensions.
Maybe there is some hope for the post-election session. Here are the words of a few Democrat representatives:
- Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia: “I think we should stay and deal with taxes. We should extend the tax cuts now. Before we adjourn. I get paid to be here. Let’s do our job.”
- Rep. Bobby Bright, Alabama: “I’m not ready to adjourn if there’s any work they expect us to do. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of unfinished business, and I’m ready to take it on. That’s my position. The vast majority of people in my district are saying ‘Don’t raise taxes when the economy is in such a bad state, on anybody.’ ”
- Rep. Zack Space, Ohio: “That’s an issue we should be resolving before we go home. I think that small business, big business, individuals, have a right to expect some certainty. The longer we keep this open, the more uncertainty there is. Our economy is such that I don’t think we can afford that.”
For good measure, here are some sound thoughts from Democrat Senator Ben Nelson:
"In my view, raising anyone’s taxes, given our fragile economy would be a move in the wrong direction. Nebraskans I represent tell me they feel a lot of uncertainty about the future. Nebraska business owners do to. The possibility of tax increases is just one more reason that companies at home and across the country are holding on to cash and are hesitant to invest in new equipment, new production and new employees."
Hopefully, such comments will lead to positive actions before it is too late.