Are the days of Congress 'going big' over?
January 3rd, 2013
09:07 AM ET
10 years ago

Are the days of Congress 'going big' over?

Washington (CNN) - It was a common refrain during the House and Senate late-night votes to avert the fiscal cliff. Senator after senator, congressman after congressman lamented the fact that the legislation didn't "do more," "go bigger" or that it was "far from perfect."

Political watchers believed the fiscal cliff negotiations were the perfect time for President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to hatch a "grand bargain" - a deal that would have included both large increases in tax revenue and major cuts in government spending. At the time, both men looked better positioned to deliver a bipartisan plan. Boehner seemed to have a firmer hand on his caucus leading up to the talks, and the president was coming off a hard-fought re-election win.


Filed under: Congress • Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    If they're not over, then they should be. The numbers in the budgets are just too large, the reasons for certain types of funding are too diverse, and the many of the newer people coming into the Congress just simply cannot digest any of it. Instead, they take some "moral stand" and blindly reject anything that they do not understand.

    I think most do it without even realizing that they are doing so, or the actual reasons behind it. You see, it is human nature to fear or reject any and all that we do not understand. That is what is happening with the Congress. The bills are too big for people to digest in the allotted time, and many are incapable of doing so given an infinite amount of time.

    January 3, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The Congress has done more harm than good, with sweeping changes to law. Perhaps this is a better way.

    January 3, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Indiana, knows this all too well."

    We are all too familiar with the Tea Party mantra of "throw the bums out". Along with screaming for "term limits". Most of these fools are from the Amy Kremer / Matt Kibbe fan club of Tea Party political obtuseness. If you've ever sat and listened to either Kremer or Kibbe, you'll come away not knowing what they stand for. Quite frankly, neither do they. Makes one wonder who actually does control the Grand Old Party, it's become so divided - even within it's own internal factions. I'm guessing FOX still calls the shots and Limbaugh follows along for the ride. And all those Republican Senators and Representatives? Well, they've become too disinterested or too wimpy to take back their own party from the fringe elements that will ultimately drag the GOP into a perpetual limbo of clown shows and media pouts.

    January 3, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Pete

    But Pres.Obama and Boehner did make a gran deal in2011 and Boehner backed down being scared of what tea partyers were saying behind his back so he left a bill that favored republicans ideas so who's wrong here,it sure ain't the president giving republicans over a 4-1 spending cuts to revenue deal was it!!Republicans historicly have never been the economic wizz kids ,just go back to Hoovers Great Depression or Bushs recent economic collapse plus throw in Reagans stealing from SocialSecurity to balance his budget in the "80s ,all republicans,all crooked,all for themselves,really pathedic ha!!!

    January 3, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. rs

    It is this simple: until such time as the Republican party acts upon the needs of the citizens (and not the lobbyists) of the United States, place country ahead of party, and abandon their ultra-radical, hyper-partisan anti-American poison, there will be no "going big".
    In fact, I would dare offer that if the Republican party continues upon the path it currently is taking, they will simply cease to exist within this decade- reviled by the populace for their policies and pettiness.
    The real debate will be just how much damage they will inflict upon our great nation and her people before they are gone.

    January 3, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there is so much of problem getting even the little stuff done, it reduces the chances of getting the large stuff done. I guess that is a good thing to be said of previous Congresses (?) that they could actually work across whatever isle there was to get things done for the good of the country.

    January 3, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. jpmichigan

    Once again the American taxpayer has been HOODWINKED by the President and members on the Hill. In the Senate bill , there was pork to the wall street gangs. In the Sandy bill there was more pork placed there by the Democratic Senate, and passed by the, so called conservative Republicans. Obama last 4 years will be all spend and no cut backs in the deficit, for he has nothing to loose , he can not run again, thank God for that. The rest of the motley crew on the Hill will face reelection, that is when the American taxpayer has to say enough is enough and use the power of the voting booth to rid ourselves of the big spenders.

    January 3, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. plain&simple

    There are no "Grande Bargains" change,progress comes painfully inch by inch.....this world has seen sweeping change....mostly from disasters or wars! So little by little is just fine! It's called growth or evolving and it happens over generations with guidence and attention to what you are growing can be good.

    January 3, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. fiftyfive55

    Of course going big is over,even our President didn't think enough of our fiscal cliff to delay another vacation of his until the matter was resolved.He even thought so little of our future that he didnt even show up i n person to sign the papers.What an insult to America.

    January 3, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Branson

    Yeah we are bigger. We are more bloated, have more pork, and have the biggest losers as leaders in the House, Senate and POTUS than ever before.

    January 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Larry L

    A couple of "big" new laws could go a long way towards fixing this problem:

    1. Stop paying the entire Congress, the President, and their staff members if an approved, balanced budget isn't in place before the end of the current fiscal year. Never return the pay lost. Make them do their most basic job.
    2. Create law to overcome the disastrous effects of the Citizen's United ruling by the Supreme Court. Find laws to seriously limit PAC contributions or advertising from all special interest groups, including industry or union lobbyists. Corporations are most certainly NOT people and the U.S. Supreme Court got it really, really wrong.
    3. Create and use federal funding for an independent organization to fact-check statistics, political claims, conspiracy theories, innuendos, distortions, half-truths, and out-right lies used in political campaigns. Require each ad to attach the results of this fact-check in a disclaimer box – including the scroll lines below each political debate. Stop allowing them to make us hate each other. Hold them liable for "Swift Boat" advertising.
    4. Make it an easily understood and frequently enforced federal crime for politicians to accept campaign monies from special interest groups when those contributions are essentially bribes to support specific pork projects. Stop putting integrity up for sale.

    No dishonest politician would ever support these changes because they attack the cancer that is today's political process.

    January 3, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Larry in Houston

    are the days of congress going "big" over ? lol – in my opinion, I'd say , as long as the "T – party" doesn't have anything else to do besides being a deficit hawk, the answer is yes. I honestly think more people will know what the so called "earmarks" are going for, and how much is actually spent on those earmarks. lol – I'm sure my deceased senator which was a 90 termer, is probably rolling in his grave. There will never be anybody close to getting what he got, if it took 10 lifetimes. I'm talking about hundreds of billions, with a "B" throughout his over 60 yr. carreer.

    January 3, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Do we dare hope? The Federal Government has no business in the Medical Business, the Welfare Business, and in most cases collecting and disbursing money. Those things belong inside the State Borders. With all the Big Social Programs the Federal Government has put in place what has improved? Some will say things are much better than the 1930's. But for how long? Most of the time the Congress doesn't need to be in session.

    January 3, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Catmandew

    Obama doest work with anybody! Heck he hasnt worked a day in his life! He was given the best education that his grandparents could afford and he is still not using it wisely, how can such a highly educated man be such a dumbo?

    January 3, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |