Washington – Democratic and Republican members of Congress pledged to battle the growing economic crisis facing the country with swift, meaningless action, most of which would entail speaking rather than actually acting. And there are doubts whether the action would in fact be swift, as ideological differences between the parties seem sure to delay the passage of any legislation meant to aid struggling Americans. Democrats favor a bill that includes tax rebates and other benefits for middle-income and low-income workers, while Republicans favor the inclusion of incentives for businesses and making permanent the Bush tax cuts. Republicans say the tax cuts, if made permanent, will not only solve the current financial crisis, but will keep America safe from terrorism and cure several forms of cancer.
Following a closed-door meeting of Congressional leaders from both parties, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters, “We pledge to you, to America, that the action taken by this body will be swift, it will include ideas from both sides of the aisle, and most importantly, it will mean absolutely nothing.”
“This is the kind of thing we can do when we work together, on a bipartisan basis,” said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH), who also attended the meeting. “This kind of pledge to do something that doesn’t actually accomplish anything can only happen when we put partisan politics aside, and agree to disagree for the better of the country. And that’s basically what we did today. We agreed to disagree. And then we had some lunch. And then it was almost time for this press conference so we called it a day.”
Asked to elaborate on details of where the legislation stands, Pelosi said, “Well, we’re still figuring that out. But figuring it out actually is the plan, so it’s a little tricky. As long as we can spend an inordinate amount of time making it look like we’re hashing out an agreement and working out tough details and sticking points, then we really don’t have to do anything. Which is really what the Congress is always trying to do: take a lot of time, look and act like you’re working hard, accomplish nothing.” When it was pointed out to Pelosi that she had earlier pledged that the action Congress took would be swift, she replied, “Well, see, there you go. Now, you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, right? That means it’s working. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice contorting my face into positions that make it look like I’m concentrating really hard.”