Unexpectedly Intriguing!
December 18, 2007

As Deer in the Headlights, So Are the Congressional Leaders of Our Lives.... Much is being made of the disagreements between the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that has largely resulted in a legislative quagmire where the body is largely unable to meet its basic obligations on behalf of the people of the United States. Worse, many of the so-called leaders are acting like spoiled children throwing a tantrum.

While we're firmly in the camp that the root cause of the problem is the lack of effective quality leadership on both sides of the U.S. Capitol building, it does occur to us that the President does have a useful authority in settling the disagreements between the two houses of Congress: the President could give the members of the House and the Senate a much needed recess until they can get their act together. From the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3, emphasis ours:

Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

From this, it would appear to us that the President does indeed have the authority to give the Congress that apparently much needed time-out and metaphorically send the members of Congress to their rooms until they can work their leadership problems out.

We would suggest that a good place to start would be to revisit who should be in the positions of leadership of the U.S. Congress. Perhaps we could convince the members of the congressional majority who are angling to be their party's presidential candidate in 2008 come back to Capitol Hill and use the opportunity to show if they actually have any real leadership ability.

Then again, why wait to go through all this? All these potential presidential candidates could demonstrate to the people of the United States that they can be effective in taking charge by fixing the problems within the Congress without having to have the President adjourn it. It's a fantastic opportunity, if only they take it!

What would it say about them and their leadership ability if they won't?

Update: Could the news that Senator Robert Byrd is being dethroned from chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee be evidence that the majority party in Congress is finally starting to deal with its deep-rooted leadership problems?


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