Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress
December 3rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET
12 months ago

Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner rejected the label that this is a "do nothing" session of Congress, telling reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill, "we've done our work."

Boehner pointed the finger at the Democratic-led Senate for holding up legislation. "When you look at the number of bills passed by the House and the paltry number of bills passed by the Senate, you can see where the problem is."

The House of Representatives is in session for seven more days before the end of 2013. The Senate doesn't return from its extended Thanksgiving break until next week and plans to be in Washington for two more weeks this year.

There is a long list of items that Congress has failed to complete this year, including a farm bill, immigration reform, a defense measure, and a budget deal to avoid another potential government shutdown in January

House Democrats lay the blame squarely on House Republicans for failing to work across party lines to reach compromise on those issues–and they add other examples, such as a bill banning employment discrimination on the basis of sexual identity or gender, and measures to enhance background checks for gun purchases.

"This session of Congress may prove to be the least productive in perhaps over a half of century," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday.

But Boehner cited several measures the House has passed that await action in the Senate and maintained any lack of progress was the upper chamber's fault.

"The way this system of government works, both the House and the Senate have to do their jobs. The House continues to do its job; it's time for the Senate to get serious about doing theirs."


Filed under: Congress • House • John Boehner
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. lbdukeep

    Maybe this congress isn't a Do NOTHING, but what they have done HASN'T BEEN GOOD FOR THE NATION...so Boehner (Bonehead) you may as well wear the label with pride! DO NOTHING BOEHNER (NOTHING GOOD!)

    December 3, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. ray

    in other countries these hypocrite, liars and racists would be confronted by citzens on the streets. only in AMREICA you can get away with crap.

    December 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Gunderson

    Maybe time you learn how take care of self instead expecting government do it. Last 100 years peasants drop ball, now in bad trouble. Liberal's promise you moon but want conservatives pay for it. No can do. You want moon, you pay.

    December 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Sheepleherder

    He's right, making it worse isn't "doing nothing" ... but than again, the rest of them, including the Democrats despite not having a fancy name like "Tea Party", are just as much to blame.

    December 3, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. Mopery

    Boehner doesn't understand that you have to be an actual Jedi for the mind tricks to be effective.

    December 3, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. marvalea

    Passing bills that have no chance of being debated in the Senate is NOT getting anything done. Voting 41 times to repeal the ACA is NOT getting anything done. What happened to the jobs, jobs, jobs? Passed some jobs bills that were contingent upon passing something not even remotely related to the creation of jobs? That's not getting anything done.

    December 3, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mr. Boehner can reject the phrase "do nothing" from now until doomsday. I suspect, though, it will stick to his party and his lack of leadership from now until doomsday.

    It is what is is, John Boehner.

    December 3, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Teapartiesareforlittlegirls

    This from the guy who in July said "don't judge this congress by the laws we create, congress should be judged on the laws we repeal."
    How's THAT going for you?

    December 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    ""When you look at the number of bills passed by the House and the paltry number of bills passed by the Senate, you can see where the problem is."

    It's not about numbers, you Teatroll lapdog. It's about SUBSTANCE. Passing a plethora of symbolic, go-nowhere, dead-on-arrival partisan-messaging legislation is NOT governing and it is NOT good faith and is NOT "doing something." It is nothing more than political masturbation. You weren't sent to Congress to fondle your base in front of the cameras while the MSM treats it like the best pron they've ever seen..

    December 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. NYVeteran

    I am reminded of the three monkeys performing see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil when i think of congress and its current know nothing Tea Bagger leadership. Although the monkeys did more as they have at least moved their arms.

    December 3, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. columbus

    These guys, both parties, are delusional.

    December 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Scott

    He is correct; it is not that they are doing nothing. They are actively being obstructionists. Which is even worse.

    December 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Guest

    Bills passed by Boehner's 2013 House - 55
    Bills passed by Gingrich's 1993 House - 88 (previous low)
    Bills passed by Republican 1947 House - 3–+ (Labeled the "Do Nothing" congress by Truman)

    December 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. iceload9

    It's the other guys. How ..........Washington. As we sink further.

    December 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Who's to say

    The Republican/Tea Party fanatics had 3 years in which to Amendment the Affordable Health Act. Instead they decided to shut down the government down in hopes of getting their way. This cost the American taxpayers billions. These people need to find a new 'sandbox' to play in. Each Party has a lot to offer and the best of both comes with compromise. Grow up you idiots! Or get the hech out of the way!

    December 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Tom

    Of course they weren't a "do nothing" Congress. Heck, they almost managed to destroy the entire world economy. Takes a lot of work to do that.

    December 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Samuel Wyndham

    Mr. Boehner it is my hope that the people sent you and all your tea party friends home.
    You and your friends have set this NATION back fifty year. That is the problem we are having now.
    None of you have the courage to accept any thing that may work to get us out of your WHOLE.

    December 3, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    "we've done our work."

    Indeed you have for many years to come and now the American people WILL do ours.

    December 3, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. BubblesB

    I guess obstructionism isn't doing nothing either.

    December 3, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. aaron

    If you count endless bills to overturn Obamacare that have no chance of passing the Senate and not getting veto'ed, shutting down the government, taking the country to the brink of financial disaster over it, yeah, Repubs have done a bang up job. Anything other than, they've done absolutely nothing but draw a taxpayer funded salary and very nice health insurance plan.

    December 3, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Let's keep talking about Obama Care as the Republicans want us to do. And forget about everything else! Keep up the great work Congress.... Both Sides!!!

    December 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. MrManhattan

    The Republican'ts have worked tirelessly this year to drag down the US and impede any progress.

    December 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Thoughtful

    No one, not even the most loyal apologists for the Republicans, can claim any victory for the American citizens.

    Republican obstructionism has thrown a "monkey wrench" into the gears of America. America IS our government, being an enemy of our government means we all have a smaller economy, less wealth, and fewer opportunities for ALL Americans.

    Sure, the Democrats are not perfect, but they have visibly demonstrated a willingness to compromise that is utterly lacking in the Republican party. The few dollars they save in blocking taxation are lost many times over by the failures of ANY leadership on the issues that confront America.

    As long as "embarrass Obama at any cost" mentality motivates the Republicans, the taxpayers lose, the middle class loses and even the rich and ultra-rich lose income opportunities. Unemployment means less wealth, less security, less strength. If the Republican Congress had tried to make the ACA (Obamacare) better we would not have these problems. Instead, they voted OVER FORTY TIMES to kill American Healthcare Act.

    Obstructionists: Give them the boot!

    December 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. lou2

    And therein lies the problem. You have the worst congress with the most ineffective legislative record in the history of the United States saying that they're doing their work. Pure delusion with no idea how to raise the bar of performance. There is just no way to justify their pay and benefits. But this is America and even though they should be fired on the spot, I'm sure there's plenty of duped voters who will keep some of these fools in office.

    December 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. rockysfan

    Saying it, Boehner, doesn't make it so. You are a "do nothing" leader! What have you done? Oh, you tried to repeal ACA 40+ times?! Guess you and the retreads don't read the news or watch elections – Obama won, that should tell you something. All you or your party and that includes your retreads, have done nothing but obstructionism. Oh, I guess you could call that something but last I checked, that wasn't in your job description. AND apparently compromise isn't in your vocabulary either! Whine somewhere else buddy boy, 'cause we're not buying the garbage you're trying to sell!

    December 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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