Colorado Sen. Mark Udall might want to listen to the words of his Colorado colleague, Sen. Michael Bennet, who talked about the lame-duck session of Congress a couple of weeks ago. “The whole thing is rigged,” Bennet said.
Earlier this week, Udall offered a principled vote against the bipartisan extension of the Bush tax cuts because the measure extends cuts to the wealthiest taxpayers. And he has regularly fought against the earmarks culture in Congress. But he vented his frustration Thursday over the latest circumventing of Senate rules and his own efforts to win passage of a public lands bill that includes things like money to fight bark beetles on national forests.
“Instead of a public lands bill, the Senate is preparing to vote on an appropriations bill that is filled with earmarks and random bills that have been air-dropped in,” many without going through the hearing process, Udall said. “This is disheartening for those of us who have worked for years, playing by the rules and shepherding bills through the legislative process to get them to the Senate floor for a vote.”
Udall’s frustration is understandable and well-warranted. It’s just one more reason why Americans’ waning approval of Congress barely registers in polls anymore.