Congress returned to work right after Labor Day, not that you would have noticed. Aside from the legislation that renames most offices or other federal structures in honor of someone most of us have never hear about, congress was locked in a battle over the federal budget that was to expire on September 30. Of course, the fights were based on partisan politics. Rather than doing what is right for the nation, these hacks broke down into partisan bickering. A continuing resolution, not a real budget, was passed on September 29. They have until December 9 to fix their problems.
In another part of my life, I write a monthly newsletter for the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee. The PAC was started by former American Numismatic Association President Barry Stuppler to help be a voice for issues facing the numismatic and bullion industry. As part of my research into issues, I speak with staffers and other contacts on Capitol Hill to provide background information on the PAC’s issues.
This past month I used an opportunity to have a discussion about the state of congress with two lobbyists. Both are former staffers working with members on opposite sides of the aisle and have been working in the halls of congress since early in the Clinton administration. Neither were optimistic that congress would accomplish anything, even during the lame duck session after the election. With the budget battle looming and the unsettle Supreme Court nomination, neither of these professionals were optimistic.
For some of us, watching congress is a sport. While it might be as painful as watching the 1962 New York Mets or the 2003 Detroit Tigers or waiting for the Cubs to win the World Series, I will continue to report potential legislation that may affect modern collecting.
Only one bill was introduced in September: