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Inaction on Congress’s agenda

No breakthroughs expected till Nov.

  • FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2014 file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2014 file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2014 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. is at right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2014 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. is at right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2014 file photo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
  • FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2014 file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. is at right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.

“We’ve got a lot of things on our plate,” House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said recently when asked what Congress will be busy with this year, but he predicted no breakthrough accomplishments on immigration, taxes or any other area.

“Why don’t we just pack up and go home?” countered House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California after Boehner blamed President Obama for lack of movement on immigration. “What we’re supposed to do is legislate and not make up excuses as to why we don’t.”

Immigration legislation is hardly the only area where inaction is the likeliest outcome.

A Senate-passed bill has fallen into the congressional equivalent of a black hole in the House, where conservative critics cite a changing series of reasons for not wanting to take action.

If immigration legislation is moribund in the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has made it clear he doesn’t intend to seek passage of a second Obama priority, this one a bill to facilitate passage of trade deals with Europe and Asia.

“I’m against fast track,” said the man who sets the Senate’s agenda, referring to the measure Obama wants. “I think everyone would be well-advised just to not push this right now.”

The legislation is opposed by large segments of organized labor, the very unions that Democrats will be counting on to pour money and manpower into their bid to hold control of the Senate in the November election.

Republicans need to gain six seats to win a majority. They say they increasingly are bullish about their prospects.

An overhaul of tax laws seems further off than it did a year ago. There was scant evidence of progress in 2013, and now a transition is occurring at the Senate Finance Committee, where Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, has yet to announce his priorities as incoming chairman. Deficit reduction, the driving force of the Tea Party-heavy House majority, now occupies a back seat, and the projected deficit for the current budget year is the lowest since George W. Bush was in the White House.

Nor do Republicans appear likely to compromise any time soon on an increase in the minimum wage or other items on Obama’s agenda.

Another potential area for compromise is legislation to overhaul the system for reimbursing doctors who treat Medicare patients.

The bipartisan supporters of a measure along those lines have yet to agree on how to offset the cost, though.

TRUST is the currency of the Legislature. NObama and the democrats have severely debased that currency. Legislative gridlock is 100% the fault of Harry Reid & the democrats in the Senate. "Harry Reid, has not passed a budget since 2009 " "Sen. Tom Coburn blasts Harry Reid: We have a czar running the Senate" "How Harry Reid is Destroying the Senate" If you do not know that democrats are destroying America for their political gain then you are indeed a LIDV.

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