CBS's Cordes Suggests No 'Remarkable Pieces of Legislation' Because of Uncompromising Tea Party

During a roundtable discussion on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, after asserting that in past years divided government had "produced some really remarkable pieces of legislation," correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed the presence of Tea Party Republicans for less congressional success in enacting legislation this year. (Video below)

Anchor Bob Schieffer raised the difficulty Congress has had in 2011 in making accomplishments, prompting Cordes to observe:

I think what we learned this year is that divided government, which in the past has produced some really remarkable pieces of legislation, doesn't produce the same kind of results when you have two parties that are so far apart the way that these two are right now.

After noting that, in the past, Congress had been able to procrastinate before advancing critical legislation, she continued:

It's worked in the past, but it  doesn't work anymore because you have a new crop of Tea Party House Republicans who have no interest in political expediency. That's not what they ran on. They're not just going to get along. When they don't like a piece of legislation,  they don't mind if it makes them look bad in the short-term. They're going to stand on the ground.

Below are video and a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Sunday, December 25, Face the Nation on CBS:

 

BOB SCHIEFFER: In this country, of course, Nancy, and John Dickerson, it was all about the Congress and what the Congress didn't do. I laughed one day and said, you know, it's a good thing Congress hasn't done anything this year because if they had, we wouldn't have any place to put it with all the other news that we had otherwise. But it was quite a year up there on the Hill, wasn't it?

NANCY CORDES: It was, and I think what we learned this year is that divided government, which in the past has produced some really remarkable pieces of legislation, doesn't produce the same kind of results when you have two parties that are so far apart the way that these two are right now. And, you know, the modus operandi on the Hill for so many years has been to leave legislation till the last minute, funding the government, this payroll tax cut.

It's worked in the past, but it  doesn't work anymore because you have a new crop of Tea Party House Republicans who have no interest in political expediency. That's not what they ran on. They're not just going to get along. When they don't like a piece of legislation,  they don't mind if it makes them look bad in the short-term. They're going to stand on the ground.