Most of us are familiar with the idiom “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s the mantra of the industrious. Want to see progress? Want to find success? Want to reach the next rung on that ladder? Finish the task at hand and move on to the next one. That’s how we get from where we are to where we want to be.
Mark Twain had a slightly different play on the phrase. “Never put off [until] tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well,” he said. For too long, that’s been Congress’s operating order. But why? Why does Congress refuse to act with urgency when there are so many important tasks at hand?
Right now, there are 7 weeks left on the legislative calendar for 2016. Congress has 7 weeks to get through 7 of the 12 total appropriations bills, support and fund our military, address public health threats like the Zika virus, and continue fighting against extreme overreach by the Administration into the daily lives of the American people.
Do I believe that we can do it? I do. I’m never one to shy away from hard work. But you know as well as I do that this isn’t how Congress should operate.
I can remember procrastinating on school projects a couple of times and pulling "all-nighters" to put on those final touches. I always finished in time, but it was never my best work. Things worked better when I thought about how to proceed, charted out a schedule in advance, and dedicated the right amount of time to each part of the project. That’s how you get the A+.
Right now, the United States can't afford sub-par performance from Congress. We need time for measured and informed debate before we make decisions that are going to affect millions of Americans not just today, not just tomorrow, but for years to come. We need to stop governing in increments and by crisis and stop resorting to stop-gap measures to fund important programs.
I’m happy to be back in Washington. I would have been happy to be here back in July when the Speaker refused my request to keep Congress in session instead of adjourning for a 7-week summer recess. I’m ready to get to work on behalf of folks across the First District, the Commonwealth, and the country. But as Congress moves forward at break-neck speed, rest assured that I will never stop fighting for a Congress that doesn’t put off until the fall what it should have been doing in the spring.