Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress
December 3rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET
9 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. Rudy NYC

    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."
    ------------------------------
    House Republicans didn't pass one appropriations bill prior to the government shutdown. Not one. Meanwhile, theere was a budget bill that the Senate had passed, which Spkr. Boehner totally ignored. And if the Speaker is pointing to all of the bills that contained amemdments to repeal the ACA, then I say good riddance.

    December 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. anonymous

    How many bills have never even been brought up for a vote in the Senate? MANY. I thought the Deomcrats just wanted a simple vote up or down? What are they afraid of?

    December 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Government isn' the problem. It's Republicans running the government that's the problem.

    December 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. love344

    Impeach! Bohner!

    December 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    But they DID vote to repeal Obamacare 46 times.

    December 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    rockysfan, you said it ALL!

    December 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. darknesscrown

    LOL! You sure have, John. You shut the government down, you tried 42 times to repeal Obamacare, threw hissy fits over not getting the Keystone pipeline, cried about Benghazi...busy busy. I think what people mean when they say you're a do-nothing Congress, is that YOU HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING THAT MATTERS.

    December 3, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mr. Boehner- statistics don't lie. 55 bills considered on the floor of the House (about 1/7th of Truman's "do-nothing" Congress), and still no immigration reform, still no budget. Oh, yeah 40-something votes wasted on recinding the ACA (at about $1 million a pop), and the shutdown vote and the vote to send America into default (and wreck the economy). CNN is right- we are in danger of terrorists- you and the House GOP.

    December 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Jesse B

    Just because the house can say they passed a bunch of junk bills doesn't mean they did anything. They passed bills they knew wouldn't pass the senate, that's called a waste of time. The senate lies about everything, but the house does nothing. Both are pathetic, and I'm sick of having a bought legislative branch. They don't represent The People. Period.

    December 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Peter

    All our democrats were doing was trying to have the same health care as EVERY OTHER industrialized nation. Regardless what you think of that, they've spent too much time trying to derail the ACA to the point they only refer to it as Obamacare (does anyone remember how the plan started from Romney? nope...). This country can't even pass laws meant for the good of ALL the people, because of false understandings or misinformation that a huge percentage of the population takes as fact.

    December 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. pay US debt in teabags

    it is so unfair.
    He does everything for GOP,

    People just don't understand his priorities.
    It is not his fault, it is Obama's fault.

    December 3, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. rad666

    He prefers "nothing doing" label.

    December 3, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. ST

    If they are NOT DO NOTHING congress why is their Approval Rating at 9%? Is that a place DO SOMETHING congress should be?

    December 3, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Dan Bruce

    Well, in rejecting the "do nothing" label, he finally did something!

    December 3, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Say What?

    Boehner, just because you pass the same bill 30 times doesnt mean you worked...

    December 3, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. FrankinSD

    I suppose that the Speaker's remark earlier in the year that his Congress should be judged, not by how many laws it passes but by how many it repeals, was an attempt to head of this criticism. Problem is, they haven't repealed any laws either.

    December 3, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. JON WYATT

    Do nothing leader for a do nothing senate !

    December 3, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. sperry23

    Boehner and reject whatever the heck he wants to. It doesn't mean that he's correct. Congress was an unmitigated failure this year, mostly due to the Houses refusal to work with anyone who might disagree with them.

    Fire all of them, Repubs and Dems alike.

    December 3, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    GOPTeatroll motto: Breaking gov't to prove it's broken.

    It's an inside job. Pretty simple: Get in position to govern and then refuse to do so. In fact, just refuse to do anything whatsoever. Blam! Self-fulfilling prophecy achieved.

    December 3, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. gladiatorgrl

    They just live in an alternative universe

    December 3, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. longfisch

    When you praise one congressional group for passing legislation without compromise that has no chance of passing, and then attack the other congressional group for passing legislation without compromise that has no chance of passing, whats tell you about yourself? I would call myself a hypocrite, neither side is willing to work with the other because we don't want them to, we want them to pander to us and tell us how it is all the other parties fault so we can feel good about the election sticker on the back of our car.

    December 3, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Tommy G

    sonny chapman
    But they DID vote to repeal Obamacare 46 times.
    -–

    And a majority of Americans support them in their vote. Why do the Democrats continue to defy the will of the American people and continue to jam Obmaacare down our throats?

    December 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Sue

    Come on they do something and have surpassed previous Congress. They say NO, NO, NO and then take a couple of weeks off on vacation. This Congress just makes work look easy and that it's the reason they get so much flake. Lets collect money for them and buy them plane tickets where they can take even longer vacation and send them to the North Pole. They deserve it for all of the hard work they do.

    December 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. TomGI

    "Boehner rejects 'do nothing' label for this Congress"

    Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. Truly a legend in his own mind.

    December 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. JimNasium

    "What are you talking about? We passed 6,987 bills repealing Obamacare? Did the Senate do that???"

    December 3, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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