A "do-nothing" Congress disconnected from rest of us

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, waits to take questions from reporters after a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill May 15, 2013 in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS News) Say one thing for Congress: No matter how bad you thought they were, they will always find a way to show you they're even worse.

Last week's defeat of the Farm Bill was an example of how they can't do anything, even when they want to.

House Republican Leaders thought they had the votes to pass the bill, but 60 Republicans suddenly turned on their leaders, because they thought federal programs needed to be cut even more. They joined forces with a group of Democrats who opposed the bill because they thought the programs had been cut too much.

So the whole thing collapsed, nobody got anything, and nothing got done -- a sentence you could use to describe most Capitol Hill weeks.

Washington has changed since I came here 44 years ago.

There are some exceptions, but many House Members, especially, have come to live in a world unknown and disconnected to the rest of us. They work three days a week, they take long and frequent vacations, and busy themselves with things that have no connection to the rest of us -- fund raising to ensure re-election, traveling, issuing press releases, and more fund raising.

But nothing that affects the rest of us ever seems to get done.

It's obvious they want to be something -- a Member of Congress! But but when I came to Washington, most Members wanted to do something.

When did that go out of style?

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

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