90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Cost Of Our 'Do-Nothing' Congress

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

Come this Friday, hundreds of US Congress men and women will be flying out of Washington.  Representatives and Senators, headed out, headed home, for a five week August recess.  And here’s the thing:  they’ve done almost nothing in Washington.  The label is “do-nothing” Congress.  Democrats use that label to attack.  Some Republicans wear it almost as a point of pride.  But in a world of so much change and challenge, can we afford inaction?  This hour On Point:  the “do-nothing” Congress tag, and the cost of standing still.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Thomas Mann, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. Co-author with Norm Ornstein of “The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America And How To Get It Back On Track” and “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.”

Harry Holzer, professor of public policy at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. Former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nancy Cordes, Congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Katrina Pierson, former Texas Congressional candidate. Tea Party activist. (@KatrinaPierson)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Congressional negotiators agree on VA reform: What will they fix? — “It looked like a compromise VA reform bill was in deep trouble after the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committee chairmen clashed publicly on Thursday after weeks of negotiating behind closed doors. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, made up Thursday evening, and agreed to continue working on compromise legislation.

The Hill: Dems eye vacation strategy for ‘do-nothing’ Congress – “Behind President Obama, the Democrats have been touting a long list of legislative priorities they hope will resonate at the polls in November, including proposals to raise the minimum wage, extend emergency unemployment benefits, overhaul the nation’s immigration system and provide equal pay to women in the workplace. Those proposals have roughly no chance of passing through the Republican-controlled House .”

New York Times: A Do-Nothing Congress? Well, Pretty Close – “This House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. Through mid-May, representatives introduced 18 percent fewer bills compared with the same point in the previous Congress. That’s the largest drop between Congresses in the period beginning in 1995, when Republicans overturned decades of Democratic rule in the House.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 26, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Nov 26, 2014
Getting together with your family and loved ones at Thanksgiving and the holidays doesn't have to lead to  arguments and fights. (Meg Hunt / Flickr)

The Thanksgiving get-together and all the family drama trimmings. Sage advice from advice columnists.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
1 Comment