What’s Congress’ reaction to 10,000 children in detention centers? “Let’s go home for the 4th of July”

What’s Congress’ reaction to 10,000 children in detention centers?  “Let’s go home for the 4th of July”
U.S. Senate (Photo credit, US Senate)

For a moment, imagine that you take your family out of the country, and when you cross the border the government takes you from your children. You see your children crying as they are carried off by strangers who speak a foreign language. You can do nothing. Maybe you are in handcuffs and being restrained as you watch your children disappear.

At night, as you lie in bed, your mind races wondering what has become of your child? Imagine the child, taken from all that is secure. Parents are children’s worlds.

Imagine the child in a cage, or on a cot, with nobody to comfort them or reassure them Mommy and Daddy are OK. In some cases, caged like animals, we can only imagine the horror they feel.

While the parents and children lay in the dark feeling fear and anxiety, people in Washington gather and congratulate one another on Making America Great Again. I am sorry, I cannot fathom the monster that emotionally, and physically tortures a child, let alone be pleased with their actions.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 10,773 migrant children are in detention camps. That is a dramatic rise from the number 8,886 the Department claimed in April.

The nation stood in horror as we witnessed how morally bankrupt our country is in 2018. The analogy of the Third Reich is common on social media. It is an unfair comparison. Kids in Nazi Germany were slave labor, and if they could not work, they were executed.

It is comparable to the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. The other day, the Supreme Court overturned the Korematsu v. United States case which had given the legal imprimatur to detaining Japanese-Americans without due process. “No place in constitutional law,” the court said with authority, 70+ years after the events.

While the court is tardy in righting a wrong, it sends a clear message to the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, if there is anyone in the building with enough functioning brain cells to understand the message. The general IQ of the Administration seems to be on the wrong side of dim these days.

The Supreme Court’s veiled message is more than we are getting from the Congress on the issue. They are going home today on recess for a week.

When I was a lobbyist, I read the Congressional Record every morning. I studied the digest because that is where one found the meat of Congressional Activity. In Washington lobbying circles, we never cared what people said. We were more concerned about what they do.

What the Congress is doing to address this horror is not much. Here is the link to the Congressional Record for Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Pay close attention to the digest. You can read some of the eloquent, well some are eloquent, hollow words, but those are for public consumption. Read yesterday’s entries what Congress passed, and what they introduced for Members to consider.

Take a careful look at the Senate, which operates on the idea of Unanimous Consent, which means any Member can offer an Amendment at any time without going through a Rules Committee.

A must-pass Bill cleared the Senate yesterday, the Agriculture Bill. How many amendments do you see addressing the plight of the children? In the Senate, one can offer an amendment to an amendment. Those are called second-degree amendments. How many of those do you see?

If you clicked the link, you will say, “Why Bob, there were no amendments about the kids.” Yes, that is right. Congress is so concerned that they are doing nothing about it. Oh, there will be hearings, but that is Hollywood East at work.

Hearings are chances to have a cool soundbite that gets a Member on TV, or the Sunday Morning talk shows, which give the folks back home the illusion one is doing something and is a valuable player.

Player is the right word to describe Congress because they are playing at doing their jobs. If they spent as much time legislating as they do posturing, we would not have many of the ills we have today.

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) are ignoring the issue of the children. They are trying to buy their way back into voter’s hearts with an Agriculture Bill that has more pork in it than an Oscar Meyer bacon factory. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are dropping the ball on the kids too. The Minority Leaders are adept at writing letters and holding press conferences and are not offering amendments to address the plight of the kids.

That is the difference between talking and doing. Congress are big talkers and do little. With 41 Senators at the start of the Obama Administration, Mitch McConnell brought the Senate to a screeching halt. With 49 Senators, Chuck Schumer can only whine, and get run over by McConnell and company. He is just not up to the job.

While the Republicans further enable Trump, and the Democrats dawdle using their minority position as the excuse for their inaction, children are in terrible conditions, scared, and hurting. That means nothing to Congress. For them, it’s a good time to go home.

I think they are right, and we should send most of them home permanently.

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