Hot Topic #21: The Confounding Congress


Image Credit: AZ Quotes

Disclaimer: This post contains strong language.

Hey there, readers. Bear with me. This post is probably going to be long-winded, basically a stream of consciousness, and likely have a significant amount of profanity in it.

You’ve been warned.

As a result of a spirited discussion with my wonderful husband last weekend (Note – Not spirited as in angry or anything. We typically tend to agree on most things, including politics and things going on in Washington), I’ve been inspired / motivated to write out some thoughts about our United States Congress.

Simply put – It’s completely fucked up.

And it has been for a LONG time.

Meanwhile in Congress

Image Credit: Meme Center

I decided to read through the entire U.S. Constitution.

Friends, it’s been way too long since I read this (I think the last time I read it in full was, begrudgingly, for my 10th grade IB Government class). I’m glad that I took the time to read it – It was like another education.

The Patriot Post

Image Credit: The Patriot Post

Here’s some highlights:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” (Article I, Section 1)

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” (Article I, Section 2).

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,]* for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Article I, Section 3).

“The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.” (Article I, Section 6).

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” (The 16th Amendment – Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.)

“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.” (The 27th Amendment – Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.)

They’re fighting over healthcare, but they all know that they’re completely exempt from whatever legislation that eventually passes?

I say that every member of Congress should have to go through the same process that all of the other Americans in this country go through to sign up for healthcare. They should experience the hardships that so many others face!

There is no “employer-sponsored healthcare” in this instance – That’s only for people who work for businesses that offer health plans to them. Period!

Wouldn’t it be great if Congress also couldn’t vote for themselves?

I wish that every member of Congress could be knocked down a peg, so to speak. I wish we, the people, could mandate that every single member only makes $7.25 an hour. Yep, you got that right, make sure that those serving in Congress only make minimum wage.

Oh, and you’re capped at 40 hours a week. No overtime. Nothing extra. And during those 40 hours, you get your work done. If your work isn’t done … You can be fired. Kicked to the curb. If you’re kicked out, then you have to go back home and start all over. Plenty of Americans have gone through layoffs, corporate restructuring, and being fired. Why should members of Congress just be able to sail through?

You get two weeks of vacation per year – That’s it. No more ridiculous recesses that last WEEKS. Recess is for those in elementary school.

No more housing allowances – That’s only given to those who serve our country in our armed forces. Period.

Back to healthcare for a minute. Since you, as a member of Congress, only make $7.25 an hour – You have to choose your healthcare like anyone else who only makes minimum wage. Yep, that makes you have to take the time and go on or go through the exchanges to find your health plan.

Oh, and you have to make sure your spouse and all of your children are covered, too.

Not so easy now, is it?

Oh, and whatever happened to serving in Congress actually being a service to your constituents and this great nation?

If I remember correctly, not too long ago, there were no career politicians. None, zero. There were farmers who were elected in Kansas, businessmen elected in Arizona, dentists elected in California – Those men (and later women) maintained their households, jobs and/or businesses, and lives in their constituencies. When their work was done in Washington, they went back to their families and jobs and businesses at home, and worked with their constituents to help their districts change for the better. These men and women didn’t have apartments or houses in Washington, Virginia, or Maryland. They went home to Kansas, Arizona, California, and so on!


Image Credit: PolitiFact — Based on numbers from 2014, this is nearly 100 percent accurate. *facepalm*

If you stuck with me through now, thanks for reading! I try really hard to not get political on the blog. But, sometimes, something makes me really mad, and the best way that I cope is to write about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

22 thoughts on “Hot Topic #21: The Confounding Congress

  1. I’m so disappointed. I read this post expecting tons of profanity – I don’t think I saw a single cuss word! 😀

    I know what you mean – when the representatives presented a healthcare plan & immediately announced, publicly, that they would all “opt-out” of using it themselves, it really showed people how poor the coverage would be for them.

    I love your idea of making representatives work like the rest of us (“peons,” I’m sure, in their minds). From a cursory search, however, I see that members of Congress do have to purchase their insurance from the ACA.

    • Hahaha! I felt so deflated after writing this. I tried!

      Thanks for sharing the link! I always learn more from your comments – Keep them coming!

      • I commend you for making the effort. Discussing politics in this climate is draining. Still, I’m not sure if I’m proud of you or disappointed that there wasn’t a string of curse words a post long. LOL

        If you learn more from my comments, it’s because your posts encourage me to look up information! I had no idea that Congress members were required to get ACA coverage until I went to look it up.

        Actually, I went to look up whether or not members of Congress receive lifetime insurance coverage (I think my Dad said they do, but I couldn’t find information on it). So, it was a bit of a happy accident!

      • Thank you so much! I started writing this post several days before I actually finished it, so I think that delay helped diffuse my anger a bit? I was so fired up when I started, haha.

        Thank you! I try to back up current events with actual facts and resources. That’s the researcher and journalist in me, I guess.

        You’re a wonderful resource yourself! I appreciate your reading, and your comments!

      • Hmm. I can understand that explanation. The whole to-do is exhausting.

        I know exactly what you mean! I think my experience in college, & more so writing web content professionally, set me up to question information & look up what doesn’t sound quite right. Sometimes, like in this case, we find info that’s a bit surprising.

        Aww! Thanks, Laura! I love sharing information with you. Your posts always make me go “huh… I want to know more about that.” It’s a great feeling. I also feel like you have opinions, but you aren’t overly pushy with them, which is great for journalism. 🙂

      • I totally agree with you. Studying mass media really opened my eyes. College, in general, changed me as well. I’m definitely not the same person that I was – I was much more naive, much more trusting, much less skeptical. It’s interesting.

        Thank you for your kind words – I appreciate it! I’ve gotten a lot better about voicing my opinion and standing by my words, but I try really hard to not push it on anyone.

      • Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I can even put my finger on it because of one amazing (yet, really hard a**) professor who pushed us to think critically. It was one of my first general education courses.

        I still kick myself that I can’t remember her name, though. 😦

        It’s important to be able to voice your opinions, especially on your own blog. Still, the way I read your work is much more neutral – a trait I see most often in (good) journalism. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing!

      • I love that! The magnet program that was my high school education was based on critical thinking. I know I’m much better off now because of it.

        Thank you! Neutrality is something I strive for. I HATE that our country is so fucking polarized! It makes me ill.

      • You really are better off for having learned critical thinking in high school! All I learned about “critical thinking” was that there was a section in our history book with that heading. It was full of questions that were phrased in a way that made it clear that the correct response was a paraphrasing of some part of the previous chapter.

        Basically, the opposite of critical thinking. 😦

        I agree. What upsets me even more is politicians voting & passing laws, not to protect & uplift their constituents, but to pander to the loudest voices.

      • That’s disappointing!

        I’m upset with you!

      • Oh no! Whatever I did, I’m sorry!! 😦

        Please let me know what it was so that I can learn from it? 😦

      • I’m so ashamed of myself. I was agreeing with you. I’m not upset with you at all 🙂

  2. No, no! I’m so sorry. My apologies. I didn’t edit my reply!! I meant that I agree with you about being upset about our politicians and lawmakers. Forgive me!

  3. Go girl! You tell ’em!

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