Keller @ Large: Why Can’t Lawmakers Get Their Work Done On Time?

BOSTON (CBS) – This isn’t the first time a president has vented about the slow pace in Congress.

Here in Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick has complained about state budget talks dragging on.

Why can’t our lawmakers get their work done on time?

There are a number of explanations, including one-upsmanship and plain old human nature. According to an angry President Barack Obama on Wednesday, it’s partly because they lack the self-discipline of his 13- and 10-year-old daughters.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

“Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time,” said Obama on Wednesday. “They don’t wait until the night before; they’re not pulling all-nighters. Congress can do the same thing.”

Congressman Mike Capuano of Somerville was glad the president dissed Republican leaders for delays in talks over raising the debt ceiling.

But, he wasn’t so pleased with a swipe the president took at the House of Representatives, now on their eighth week of recess this year.

“He can say whatever he wants. He plays golf, I’m out here talking to you, is this a vacation?” said Rep. Capuano.

Maybe not. But, what about the consistent Capitol Hill pattern often mirrored on Beacon Hill, of never doing today what they can put off ’til tomorrow?

“Government by crisis is not new, unfortunately it’s probably necessary and whether it’s necessary or not, it’s what it is,” said Rep. Capuano.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts House Republican leader Brad Jones of North Reading said last-second action can give posturing politicians an excuse to say they fought until the end.

In fairness to the legislators, maybe we, the voters, should also look critically in the mirror. After all, when was the last time anyone got elected on a promise to compromise in order to get things done?

More from Jon Keller
  • Stephen Rost

    Gee I. wonder what is it about his noose – It does not seem to fit my picture of dying a s a public citizen at alll!

    Um – The Gay Military have yet to leave the Bar – as Judas cannot deny.

  • DrStrangelove

    And now a comment that is actually ON TOPIC …. I greatly resent that the prez looks down on our Congress and our political process as lower than his prepubescent daughters. So, if the entire country doesn’t cowtow to HIS whims, orders, and disciploinarian tactics, then what — we’re a bunch of crybabies? Of course it takes Congress forever to get thinsg done. They have a socialist as their CEO, a judicial system that is enacting and creating laws rather than interpreting them as passed by Congress, and we have a system of social welfare that is financially breaking this country. Ice that cake with military action in foreign countries that only want to kill us because we’re infidels, and you not only have a system that doesn’t work, you have a system that CANNOT work. Maybe BO’s daughter’s will blindly follow the fool into the depths of oblivion, but I would rather my Congress get nothing done than pass anything and everything BO decides is his latest fancy. And I would expect no less from Congress when the change of command happens in 2012.

  • tsal

    The one mistake I believe the president made was to forget that Congress will focus on the inane to avoid having to deal with the real problem at hand. The comment with regard to his children was of course to make a point and nothing more. Now the shift will go to whether August 2 is really a deadline – or maybe it isn’t a deadline – and if it is a deadline, who says it is the deadline. And so on and so on.

    Who cares what the deadline is. You do not work to a deadline if you want to work effectively. Did Congress not know a year ago or two years ago or a decade ago that we have serious problems? It doesn’t matter when an imagined deadline is – get the job done period and get it done now. Work together to solve the problems and stop focusing on things like deadlines or a few words that on the scale of things mean absolutely nothing and using them as an excuse for your ineptness.

  • mikey

    Just raise the debt-ceiling and be done with it. What’s the worst that could happen as this country continues to borrow itself into oblivion? Hmm, I wonder.
    “Say hello to Greece.”

  • Willow

    Why not pay them hourly instead of a salary? You think that might get them to put in more work hours?


    Lobbyists and special interest groups control congress, appeal to them to make congress work longer.

  • taxedout

    The President is right to keep those lazy so and So’s in D.C untill thye get the job done…..I’m sure he will call Every day from the Vineyard on his 2 week vacation to make sure they tow the line!!!! Is he on vacation Again????

  • emom

    The problem with any political office is procrastination, They take their time, push it off to the side, wait till it’s a dire need, We hear it all the time. We need a bill looked at and for some crazy reason it takes YEARS, Honestly to take years to agree on anything is more of a huge waste of time.. We listen to them bicker back and worth and yet nothing gets done. It makes sense to work out the problems, look at it from all angles and be sure its going to work, HOWEVER, it comes across to the public that all they want to do is just ignore , deny, and procrastinate all that comes to them.. Making us loose faith in them , what they do and what they want to do for us. Taking them serious is hard . Also what they get paid makes it even harder to trust them. You would think for what they get paid they would at least work for it. Instead they take it and run and leave us with nothing. SO they should make it that they DO what they are suppose to do and NOT allow them to take as long of a vacation or time off … Really very few folks in any work place can take more than a 2 weeks. I want to see some progress in what they do , not tell us that they need a BREAK ..

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    Keller @ Large: Why Can’t Lawmakers Get Their Work Done On Time? « CBS Boston

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