The Spectacle Blog

Congressional Confessional

By on 7.30.13 | 11:10AM

Welcome to the Congressional Confessional, episode one. Wherein Congress confesses to you what it is doing, and you silently judge from the adjacent compartment.

The following hearings should inspire both fear and disappointment over the federal government’s competency: 

In the House of Representatives this Friday, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing on missing weapons and the National Park Service: mismanagement and lack of accountability.

They will subsequently host a hearing to examine the skyrocketing problem of identity theft related to tax fraud at the IRS.

Today, the Senate is spending its efforts pursuing the obvious and the superfluous:

At 2:30 pm, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is holding a hearing to arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children. They are also discussing a resolution to suggest the improvement of telephone service in rural areas and prohibit unreasonable discrimination against rural telephone users.

On Wednesday at 10:00 am, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to provide that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for federal employment. This will be followed by a hearing to rename post office buildings to memorialize various people. At 2:30 pm, the committee will conduct a hearing to examine energy drinks, focusing on exploring concerns about marketing to youth.

At 2:30 pm on Tuesday, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing to establish a new organization to manage nuclear waste, provide a consensual process for siting nuclear waste facilities, and ensure adequate funding for managing nuclear waste.

Yes, that’s what the American government needs: more organizations. Expand the apparatus!

It’s not all disheartening. Here are some Senate hearings to appreciate.

At 9:00 am on Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing to examine strengthening privacy rights and national security FISA surveillance programs.

The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing at 2 pm to examine Washington, DC’s disaster preparedness. At that same time, a joint economic committee is holding a hearing to examine how tax reform can boost economic growth, focusing on lessons from Ronald Reagan.

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