QUIZ QUESTION: This Austin American-Statesman article describes the behavior of the two parties in the current Congress. Which behavior do you think could possibly provoke a finger-wagging column by Nicholas Kristof?
In the Medicare conference committee, Republicans locked out all the Democratic members except two whom they view as supportive. When Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, showed up uninvited, Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., who was chairing the conference committee, conducted no substantive business until Rangel left the room.
All Democrats appointed by the House and Senate to the energy conference committee were excluded, and they couldn't even try to invade its meetings, because the committee refused to disclose when or where it is meeting.
Nor were Democrats involved in final negotiations over the appropriations bill for the treasury and transportation departments, or consulted before last-minute changes in a House bill revamping the Federal Aviation Administration.
Bzzzzzt! Wrong answer!
Afraid that they would be left out, Senate Democrats have blocked attempts to name any senators from either party to conference committees for two popular bills. One bill would expand tax breaks for charitable donors, and the other would update the laws for logging and fire prevention in national forests.
Ding-ding-ding! That's the correct answer!