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August 01, 2013 2:59 PM The Awesome Weight of Governing

By Ed Kilgore

In tut-tutting over the chaos surrounding the THUD appropriations bill, and House GOP fiscal strategy generally, John Boehner had this to say, per a report from The Hill’s Russell Berman:

Boehner rejected the suggestion from Democrats that Republican leaders had lost control of their conference.
“I’m not the least bit concerned about what some might want to describe as perception,” he said.
The Speaker chalked up the frustrations among some of his members to the fact that they are tired and want to return to their districts.
“It’s August. Members have been at it for a while,” he said. “Sometimes they get a bit frustrated. They got a bit frustrated yesterday.”

Well, Lord knows the Members need a break.

As Ezra Klein pointed out a few weeks ago, the only thing that keeps the 113th Congress from rivalling the 112th Congress as the worst ever is its remarkable laziness (unless you count all those votes to repeal Obamacare as hard work):

[T]he 113th Congress simply isn’t doing much. Sure, they’re less popular than dirt mixed with mud, but the 112th Congress was less popular than Nickelback! But thus far, the 113th has avoided shutdowns and debt-ceiling brinksmanship and they’ve managed to avoid leading us into any new, completely unpaid-for wars. So…hooray?
But they’ve still got a year-and-a-half on the clock. That’s time they could use to pass immigration reform and secure their reputation as a Congress that did something big and important and overdue. Or it’s time they could use to learn some tricks from their predecessors and shut the government down or nearly breach the debt ceiling.

So now Republican members get to go home and hear from “base” constituencies who want to shut the government down and breach the debt limit. I’m sure they’ll come back refreshed and reassume the awesome weight of governing.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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