1. New York Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman joins Fresh Air to talk about the “least productive Congress in history.” 

"If you turn on C-SPAN now, in the United States Senate, you’re more likely to see nothing—nothing is happening. They’re just running out the clock for the latest judge to be confirmed and it has completely turned the Senate into a joke. It’s a silent chamber."


Photo - JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images View in High-Res

    New York Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman joins Fresh Air to talk about the “least productive Congress in history.” 

    "If you turn on C-SPAN now, in the United States Senate, you’re more likely to see nothing—nothing is happening. They’re just running out the clock for the latest judge to be confirmed and it has completely turned the Senate into a joke. It’s a silent chamber."

    Photo - JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

  2. congress

    senate

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    jonathan weisman

    politics

    new york times

    fresh air

    interview

  1. New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton joins us today to talk about lobbying and how corporations have found new ways to influence congress and public opinion. In the interview he explains how lobbying groups have changed: 

If you look at the over all number of lobbyists who were former government officials, it’s increased tremendously over the last 15 or so years. Almost half of all lobbyists today are former government officials. It used to be a much smaller percentage…


In the last three or four years the amount of money spent on registered lobbyists and the number of lobbyists has declined, and that’s in part because there’s been such division in congress that congress is getting very little done and so the corporations aren’t spending a lot of money to try to influence congress. What it has meant recently is that it’s a much smaller circle. The former staffers and the lawmakers and the current staffers, they socialize together, they golf together, they go to each other’s weddings… it creates a very clubby atmosphere in which the people who are in it have advantages that the people outside of it don’t. It makes special interest [able] to influence the process in ways that people who don’t have those kinds of connections wish they could.




photo via mashabale View in High-Res

    New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton joins us today to talk about lobbying and how corporations have found new ways to influence congress and public opinion. In the interview he explains how lobbying groups have changed: 

    If you look at the over all number of lobbyists who were former government officials, it’s increased tremendously over the last 15 or so years. Almost half of all lobbyists today are former government officials. It used to be a much smaller percentage…

    In the last three or four years the amount of money spent on registered lobbyists and the number of lobbyists has declined, and that’s in part because there’s been such division in congress that congress is getting very little done and so the corporations aren’t spending a lot of money to try to influence congress. What it has meant recently is that it’s a much smaller circle. The former staffers and the lawmakers and the current staffers, they socialize together, they golf together, they go to each other’s weddings… it creates a very clubby atmosphere in which the people who are in it have advantages that the people outside of it don’t. It makes special interest [able] to influence the process in ways that people who don’t have those kinds of connections wish they could.

    photo via mashabale

  2. eric lipton

    interview

    new york times

    lobbying

    congress

  1. New York Times Congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman addresses the clashes in Congress in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

Jonathan Weisman: [Congress] almost couldn’t pass a hurricane relief bill. I don’t know if you remember, but Republican members of Congress for the northeast went on television and went to the House floor to denounce their fellow Republicans who they couldn’t believe were holding up a Disaster Relief Bill after a disaster of such magnitude. The Republican majority never really recovered from the showdown over [Hurricane] Sandy. Because at that point, that Sandy Relief Bill passed with a majority of Democrats voting for it and a minority or Republicans voting for it, and at that point conservatives in the House said, “No more, you are not going to let that happen, Mr. Boehner. Mr. Boehner you will only put bills on the floor that have the support of a majority of Republicans.” And once they made that demand he has not wavered from it.


image via The Heritage Network View in High-Res

    New York Times Congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman addresses the clashes in Congress in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

    Jonathan Weisman: [Congress] almost couldn’t pass a hurricane relief bill. I don’t know if you remember, but Republican members of Congress for the northeast went on television and went to the House floor to denounce their fellow Republicans who they couldn’t believe were holding up a Disaster Relief Bill after a disaster of such magnitude. The Republican majority never really recovered from the showdown over [Hurricane] Sandy. Because at that point, that Sandy Relief Bill passed with a majority of Democrats voting for it and a minority or Republicans voting for it, and at that point conservatives in the House said, “No more, you are not going to let that happen, Mr. Boehner. Mr. Boehner you will only put bills on the floor that have the support of a majority of Republicans.” And once they made that demand he has not wavered from it.

    image via The Heritage Network

  2. fresh air

    interviews

    jonathan weisman

    new york times

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    John Boehner

  1. Jonathan Weisman, congressional correspondent for the New York Times talks to us tomorrow about “the underachieving 113th [congress]”:

Terry Gross:  So what did the Congress accomplish so far this session?
Jonathan Weisman:  Almost nothing. This is a remarkable Congress.  The 113th Congress has passed about 13 public laws. By the end of this week maybe there will be a 14th…but right now their rate of passing laws is about half the 112th Congress’s rate, and the 112th racked  up fewer laws than any Congress since World War II, so we are really on pace to have one of the least productive, if not the least productive Congresses in history.”


image via abc news View in High-Res

    Jonathan Weisman, congressional correspondent for the New York Times talks to us tomorrow about “the underachieving 113th [congress]”:

    Terry Gross:  So what did the Congress accomplish so far this session?

    Jonathan Weisman:  Almost nothing. This is a remarkable Congress.  The 113th Congress has passed about 13 public laws. By the end of this week maybe there will be a 14th…but right now their rate of passing laws is about half the 112th Congress’s rate, and the 112th racked  up fewer laws than any Congress since World War II, so we are really on pace to have one of the least productive, if not the least productive Congresses in history.”

    image via abc news

  2. fresh air

    interview

    jonathan weisman

    new york times

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    113th congress

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  1. The parties have become so dominant in determining how individual members of Congress vote that it doesn’t really matter what the issue is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a stimulus plan, a budget, a confirmation of a Supreme Court justice – on almost every major issue now, all the Democrats are on one side; all the Republicans are on the other side. And it’s obvious that they’re not really analyzing the issue in terms of what information they’ve been able to get, what their own analysis is – but, ‘Where does my party stand? Because my goal here is to be true to my party, to defeat the other party. ’ And there is no way that you can actually manage a government of 300 million people with people in Congress or in state legislatures as well, who are unable and unwilling to really look at the issues in front of them, figure out what needs to be done and take the oath of office seriously.

    Mickey Edwards on the negative influence of parties on American politics

  2. Mickey Edwards

    political parties

    Congress

    partisanship

  1. Some of these Congressmen have districts along the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River has undergone terrible flooding in the last several months. So now, those congressmen have become very reliant on federal aid and federal agencies such as FEMA in ways they would have never imagined before.

    — Journalist Robert Draper on some of the Tea Party members of Congress. [complete interview here]

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  1. Oh hey Mr Rogers.

  2. mr rogers

    pbs

    congress