There are four legislative weeks this Congress before the election and there are significant issues that need to be resolved in Congress by then.

One is funding the federal government. Funding runs out by the end of September. Another pressing issue is funding to help stop the spread of the Zika virus, which causes severe birth defects. There are many other important issues that will not even be considered this Congress. Meanwhile, during this first of the last four weeks before the election and the lame duck Congress, the Republicans focused, as usual, on message bills that have no chance of becoming law.

Take, for example, H.R.2357, and H.R.5424, are out of the Financial Services Committee and are designed to weaken the Dodd-Frank law, which provides oversight to Wall Street. Please recall that the Great Depression was caused to a large degree by lack of regulation of the financial markets in the 1920’s, and that the Great Recession of 2008 was caused, to a significant degree, by a relaxing of the regulations imposed on financial markets after the Great Depression. The Republican majority has tried time and again to unravel the Dodd-Frank reforms because of pressure from Wall Street, but these efforts go nowhere in the Senate and face veto threats from the White House. Therefore, one is forced to conclude that these are message bills, which has been the overriding practice of the Republicans ever since 2011, when they took the majority in the House.

This illustrates the importance of putting the Democrats back in the majority in the House, so that we can return to the productive legislating in Congress.