Boehner defends House against charges of inaction

December 4, 2013
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) defended his chamber against charges of inaction Wednesday, suggesting that the Democratic-controlled Senate is the reason that Congress has passed barely 60 pieces of legislation this year -- a record low.

"The House has passed nearly 150 bills in this Congress that the United States Senate has failed to act on," Boehner said in brief remarks on the House floor. "Many of them would help our economy and boost job creation."

A list provided by Boehner's office mentions dozens of proposals rejected by the Senate, including the House-passed budget proposal, legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, proposals to streamline federal job-training programs and several measures to scale back or repeal the Affordable Care Act.

On Tuesday the House voted to extend a ban on plastic firearms -- the first federal gun legislation approved since the school massacre in Connecticut nearly a year ago -- and a proposal expected to be taken up by the Senate next week.

Boehner's comments come amid a slew of news reports noting that this year promises to be one of the least productive in congressional history. The Washington Post reported this week that there have been fewer than 60 public laws enacted in the first 11 months of this year, according to congressional records. The figure is so below the previous low in legislative output that officials have already declared this first session of the 113th Congress the least productive ever.

 

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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