Religion and congress
At no time is the legislative process more frustrating than during the congressional "silly season," the last six months of the legislative cycle when members are up for election. Scads of bills are introduced for no other reason than to be able to tell the folks back home, "Look what I tried to do." Some of the most popular measures are the "votes for God," as members sometimes refer to them off the record. Prayer amendments are perennial favorites. So are the many schemes to funnel tax dollars to private and parochial schools. Modern iterations include efforts to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and to ban laws protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination.
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