Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Is Congress Ready for a 12-Step Program?

Is Congress Ready for a 12 Step Program?

File photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Ted Poe thinks the legislative branch is ripe for an intervention.

“Congress is addicted to spending money,” the Texas Republican said on the floor amid the mayhem that was New Year’s/Avert The Cliff Day. “Maybe Congress should join Spending Anonymous.”

Since Poe is a king of the one-minute speech, we at HOH thought he might be exaggerating. But it turns out there is in fact a Spenders Anonymous.

Spenders Anonymous is similar to “Shopaholics Anonymous,” just  perhaps a bit more appealing to hardline conservative like Poe. After all, Spenders Anonymous encourages abstinence, at least on spending.

Poe went through the 12 steps a Spending Anonymous program would entail:

  1. Congress should admit it’s addicted to spending someone else’s money.
  2. Make a list of the wasteful spending.
  3. Pass a yearly budget and a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
  4. Stop giving money to countries that hate us.
  5. Have the resolve not to spend money we don’t have.
  6. Don’t contribute to the addiction by taking more money away from Americans.
  7. Don’t borrow any more money from China.
  8. Don’t make excuses for our addiction.
  9. Don’t blame others for the addiction.
  10. Run Congress like most people run their family budgets.
  11. Remember, we are to do the will of the people.
  12. Have a support group and meet regularly to confess our addiction.

And, as is his wont, Poe signed off in his own inimitable, familiar fashion: ”And that’s just the way it is.”

So, any chance Spending Anonymous has room for 535 new members?

We’re not sure about the first 11 steps, but Spenders Anonymous might be just the support group Poe says Congress needs!

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