House Speaker John Boehner Confuses the Purpose of Congress, Says It "Ought To Be Judged By How Many Laws We Repeal"

House Speaker John Boehner prefers Congress be judged by its repeals than new laws, in an interview Sunday morning.

The purpose of a legislature, especially the United States Congress, is to pass bills that determine the law of the land.  That often means creating new laws, or making changes to current laws.  On some occasions, as situation deems necessary, there may be a need to repeal laws as well.  Advocates of limited government have long suggested that the amount of laws that legislatures pass, especially in regards to personal and economic freedom, should be restricted, with the laws of the land be held together by the system of checks and balances a democratic goverment creates.  In a situation of imposing limited government on a so-called "big government" structure, repealing laws may be more necessary than usual, but not to the same degree as actually changing them to limit their influence on society.

Unfortunately, it seems like Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) seems to have missed that course in Civics 101.  Worse, he also is one of the two leaders of Congress, which should worry some.  In an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation," Speaker Boehner was asked about the lack of legislative activity in the current Congressional session.  His response was terse, saying that the country has too many laws that it has to enforce, and that Congress "ought to be judged by how many laws we repeal," not how many laws are created or changed.  Boehner went on to say that the situation of divided government, with the two chambers of Congress led by different parties, is partly to blame for the lack of activity.

While the latter part of his statement is technically true, the problem with Speaker Boehner's logic is that he confuses bills with laws.  Bills do not have to create any new laws, you can just change them or repeal them at will.  In essentially evading the question, Boehner is avoiding the fact the current Congress is one of the least active in history, with only 15 bills signed into law by President Obama up to today.  That is partly due to the divided Congress, yes, but a lot of it also has to do with the priorities of Republican-led House of Representatives having nothing to do with actual governing.  Consider that, since the start of current Congress in January, there have been nearly 40 votes on repealing parts or the whole of Obamacare, rather than making significant changes to the law to make things more reasonable for Americans.  Meanwhile, an effective jobs bill and bills to address the sequestration earlier this year have been sidelined, while a comprehensive immigration reform bill is dying a slow yet dramatic death.  Boehner and his party are either driven by insanity for repeating the same thing over and over again, or just pure spite. 

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