A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“My family’s in the iron and steel business” (joke) (7/24)
“Why are there no knock-knock jokes about the U.S.?"/"Because freedom rings.” (7/24)
“Why is monastery food so greasy?"/"It’s cooked by friars.” (7/24)
“Why did the cookie go to the doctor?"/"Because he was feeling crummy!” (7/23)
“Why did the mushroom go to the party?"/"Because he was a fun-gi.” (7/23)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from July 05, 2014
Do-Nothing Congress

The 80th United States Congress (March 3, 1947-January 3, 1949), controlled by the Republicans, was frequently called by the minority Democrats as the “Do-Nothing Congress.” The term “Do-Nothing Congress” was applied to the 80th Congress as early as February 24, 1947—before the Congress even met.

Many other Congresses have also been called by this name. “We are the do nothing Congress” was said in Congress on March 28, 1842. The term usually is said by the minority party in Congress, and is used when different parties occupy the executive and legislative branches of government and relatively little legislation gets passed into law.


Wikipedia: 80th United States Congress
The Eightieth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1949, during the third and fourth years of Harry S. Truman’s presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Republicans gained a majority in both chambers for this Congress having gained thirteen Senate seats and fifty-seven House seats.

The 80th Congress was nicknamed the “Do Nothing Congress” by President Harry Truman. The Congress had opposed many of the bills passed during the Franklin Roosevelt administration. They also opposed most of Truman’s Fair Deal bills. Yet they passed many pro-business bills. During the 1948 election Truman campaigned as much against the “Do Nothing Congress” as against his formal opponent, Thomas Dewey. The strategy worked, as the Republicans lost nine Senate seats and ended up losing seventy-three seats in the House. The Democrats came out with an additional twenty-one seats than they had the last time they were the majority.

2 April 1842, Washington (DC) Globe, pg. 2, col. 1:
CONGRESSIONAL.
REMARKS OF MR. LANE, OF INDIANA.
In the House of Representative, March 28, 1842—On the Loan Bill.
(...)
We are told that the majority in Congress factiously oppose every measure and recommendation emanating from the Presidetn. (...) that we are the do nothing Congress.

8 July 1844, The Atlas (Boston, MA), pg. 1, col. 6:
THE DO-NOTHING CONGRESS.—The National Intelligencer says:—...

21 February 1850, Bellow Falls (VT) Gazette, pg. 3, col. 2:
CHEAP POSTAGE.—Unless Northern people stir up the dormant energies of their servants in Congress, we fear that the present do-nothing Congress will fail to give us cheap postage.

Chronicling America
9 September 1852, Green Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, VT), “The Past Session of Congress,” pg. 2, col. 1:
The Congress whose session has just closed has been called the “lazy Congress,” and the “do nothing Congress”; but these appellatives do not fitly characterize them.

OCLC WorldCat record
A DO-NOTHING CONGRESS, - The Courier & Enquirer thus happil
Edition/Format: Article Article
Publication: PROVINCIAL FREEMAN, (August 5, 1854)
Database: Accessible Archives

22 June 1910, The News and Courier (Charleston, SC), “As Congress Nears Its End,” pg. 1, col. 3:
Washington, June 21.—Special: Now that the closing days of Congress are near at hand and every one inWashington is clearing up his work preparatory to returning home, the question is being asked whether or not the present members of the House have been vigilant and active or whether the session nowending will go down in history as “a do-nothing Congress.”

20 September 1920, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Democratic Text Book Arrives in Washington,” pg. 4, col. 2:
The republican Congress is called the “do-nothing Congress,” and as such is ridiculed in the text book.

OCLC WorldCat record
The “Do-Nothing” Congress
Author: William Starr Myers
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: The North American Review, v216 n803 (19221001): 445-454
Database: JSTOR Arts & Sciences V Collection

Chronicling America
20 October 1922, The Missouri Herald (Hayti, MO), pg. 1, col. 1 headline:
Pres. Harding’s Letter an Apology for a Do-Nothing Congress

25 February 1946, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Congress Tosses Out 90% of Bills” by Steffan Andrews (NANA), pg. 3, col. 1:
“Do-Nothing" Congress
President Truman got a taste of he real reason when he verbally tried to blast Congressinto action six weeks ago. This is an election year and COngress from time immemorial has beena “do-nothing” Congress when election time is drawing near.

24 February 1947, Middlesboro (KY) Daily News, pg. 2, col. 1:
WASHINGTON COLUMN
New ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress
By PETER EDSON
NEA Washington Correspondent
Washington, Feb. 24. (NEA)—Democratic congressmen are passing around the word that Republican majorities in Congress have adopted a “Do-nothing” program. This is being cited as one reason why President Truman can afford to take off the month of March to visit Mexico and the Caribbean islands.

29 July 1947, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, sec. 1, pg. 4, col. 1:
Eightieth Congress
The accomplishments of the 80th Congress were moderate enough but it was not a do-nothing Congress; ...

9 June 1948, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Democrats Say G. O. P. Solons Afraid To Adjourn Congress” (AP), pg. A-3, col. 2:
Senator Joseph C. O’Mahoney (Democrat, Wyoming), who has been mentioned prominently as a possible running mate for President Truman, said the apparent G. O. P. reluctance to adjourn on June 19 was “recognition of the fact that the Republican Congress to date is a do-nothing Congress.”

13 August 1948, Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL), “Truman Says That He Can’t Agree WIth Taft That Prices Will Level Off Soon,” pg. 15, col. 2:
Washington, Aug. 12 (AP)—President Truman said today he couldn’t agree with Senator Taft (R-O) that prices will level off soon.

He blamed what he called the “do nothing Congress” because it failed to act on his recommendations to the special session.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Democrats and the president - The do-nothing Congress
Publisher: London : [Economist Newspaper Ltd., 1843-
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: The economist. 385, no. 8559, (2007): 50
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
Who Did Less - `Do-Nothing Congress’ or 112th?
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY WEEKLY, 70, no. 37, (October 8, 2012): 2000
Database: British Library Serials

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
Letter: Congress on pace to being the worst ever
Reader submitted 9:46 p.m. PDT July 5, 2014
Democratic President Harry Truman famously dubbed the 80th Congress the “do-nothing Congress.” However, those lawmakers still managed to pass 905 bills. Fast forward to our current Republican controlled 113th Congress, which is on course to being called the “worst Congress in history,” even worse than the previous Congress, which passed only 237 bills.
(...)
Evan J. Van Antwerp, Palm Springs

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, July 05, 2014 • Permalink