Recess Is The Appropriate Term For A Congressional Break.

Exhausted by the 86 days members of the US House of Representatives have worked this year, the House is now taking a 5-week recess – a term that aptly describes the childish behavior of this Republican-controlled legislative body.

After all, Republican congressional representatives continue to throw a tantrum over Obamacare, having voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act 40 times.

By comparison, the current session of Congress has passed just 15 bills that have become law. Six of those were necessary to fix seriously flawed laws. Three were reauthorizations of previous laws. Two were disaster relief bills. One was an appropriations bill. And two were commemorative bills.

Whew! I’m exhausted just writing about it. No wonder they need a break for recess. After all, all work and no play…

And Congress is not through. When they come back to work September 9th, they will have to gut it out for another 39 days before the end of the year in order to claim their $174,000 salaries. Of course, there is additional compensation. How else would you find someone to take such an unrewarding job? Members of Congress are eligible for pensions (the average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006) and healthcare benefits, plus annual allowances for office expenses, staff, mail, and travel between their home districts and Washington, DC.

Interestingly, beginning in 2014, members of Congress will have to give up their executive healthcare plans. The only coverage available to them will be that offered through the Health Insurance Exchange created by Obamacare.

Could that be the real reason Republicans continue to vote to repeal Obamacare?

Families In Deep Doo-Doo.

It seems that nearly every week, a new study is released that shows the growing income disparity in the United States. Recently, an Associated Press survey found that 80 percent of adults in the US face near-poverty and unemployment at some point in their lives. Another study by the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University’s School of Law found that 1 in 6 (50 million) Americans face food insecurity, including 17 million children.

Now, the medical journal Pediatrics has published a study measuring the psychological impact on mothers who are unable to afford diapers.

The study, “Diaper Need And Its Impact on Child Health,”  by a group of Yale researchers, found that 30 percent of mothers have struggled to pay for diapers and more than 8 percent of low-income mothers reuse soiled diapers! Not surprisingly, the researchers concluded that the lack of clean diapers “seriously affects maternal stress, child health, and child development.”

So, in the richest nation on Earth, a large percentage of our people can’t tend to the needs of either end of a baby!

We have millions who can’t afford the most basic necessities despite working full-time jobs. We have tens of thousands of homeless – many of them families and veterans. And, instead of passing laws to raise the minimum wage; instead of eliminating tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship manufacturing jobs overseas; instead of passing bills to help create jobs here at home; House Teapublicans plan to cut $40 billion from our food stamp programs over the next 10 years.

It will be difficult since the House has only 9 scheduled work days between now and the end of September, but I’m certain they’ll find a way.