Steny Hoyer Inadvertently Created the Best Metaphor for This Congress

A broken To Do list says more than a functional one.

The U.S. Capitol is shown on the morning of June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Yesterday House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his Virginia primary to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.
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Sarah Mimms
June 17, 2014, 11:24 a.m.

The House’s No. 2 Demo­crat, Steny Hoy­er, sent out an in­ad­vert­ent meta­phor for this Con­gress in an email to re­port­ers Tues­day. The email, titled “113th Con­gress’ To-Do List,” was meant to rib Re­pub­lic­ans for fail­ing to bring up ma­jor bills as the le­gis­lat­ive year winds down.

“House Re­pub­lic­ans have a choice: They can work with us to get things done and start check­ing off the tasks on Con­gress’ to-do list, or they can ig­nore the Amer­ic­an people and veer even fur­ther to the right. Here’s a re­mind­er of what needs to be done.”

There was just one prob­lem: The list was blank.

(Email Screen­grab)

Hoy­er’s of­fice said that the photo is­sue was un­in­ten­tion­al, and that the email ap­peared in full for oth­er re­cip­i­ents. But it’s per­haps a more real­ist­ic view of what Con­gress is likely to get done this year with mem­bers dis­trac­ted by a lead­er­ship race in the House, the Fourth of Ju­ly hol­i­day, a five-week re­cess be­gin­ning in Au­gust, and a con­ten­tious midterm elec­tion in Novem­ber.

Hoy­er’s of­fice provided an­oth­er copy of the list, which in­cludes some ma­jor pieces of le­gis­la­tion that Demo­crats have pushed for, in­clud­ing an ex­ten­sion of un­em­ploy­ment-in­sur­ance be­ne­fits and re­new­ing some tax pro­vi­sions, both of which ex­pired in Decem­ber. The list also in­cludes reau­thor­iz­ing the Ex­port-Im­port Bank, something con­ser­vat­ives have railed against, and re­filling the High­way Trust Fund, which is ex­pec­ted to go broke at the end of next month.

This story has been up­dated.


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