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quotations about congress

There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

We can't change the way Washington works unless we first change how Congress works.

BARACK OBAMA, podcast, Jan. 8, 2007

Congress has always had a soft spot for “experts” who tell members what they want to hear, whether it’s supply-side economists declaring that tax cuts increase revenue or climate-change skeptics insisting that global warming is a myth.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Fuels on the Hill," New York Times, Jun. 27, 2008

There are 249 millionaires in Congress. Remember a couple of years ago when this new Congress told us they had the solution to the recession? Apparently, they didn't share it with the rest of us.

JAY LENO, The Tonight Show, Nov. 18, 2011

Investigation is the requirement of Congress. It’s about checks and balances.

NANCY PELOSI, Meet the Press, May 7, 2006

Politics was not just about winning the election, it was about winning decisively--having the momentum to carry out one's vision. Historically, any president who squeaked into office on a narrow margin accomplished much less; he was weakened right out of the gate, and Congress never seemed to let him forget it.

DAN BROWN, Deception Point

A new study published by The British Medical Journal found that inactivity can kill you. I mean, these are the kind of findings that just scare the hell out of Congress.

JAY LENO, The Tonight Show, Jul. 23, 2012

The American, if he has a spark of national feeling, will be humiliated by the very prospect of a foreigner's visit to Congress — these, for the most part, illiterate hacks whose fancy vests are spotted with gravy, and whose speeches, hypocritical, unctuous and slovenly, are spotted also with the gravy of political patronage, these persons are a reflection on the democratic process rather than of it; they expose it in its underwear.

MARY MCCARTHY, "American the Beautiful," Commentary, Sep. 1947

Congress is always willing to appropriate money for more and bigger paved roads, anywhere -- particularly if they form loops.

EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitare

Congress quote

Researchers found a frog in new guinea that is so tiny, they believe it's the smallest vertebrate on the planet. It has the tiniest backbone of any living creature, except members of Congress.

JAY LENO, The Tonight Show, Jan. 12, 2012

I am now here in Congress... I am at liberty to vote as my conscience and judgment dictates to be right, without the yoke of any party on me, or the driver at my heels, with his whip in hand, commanding me to ge-wo-haw, just at his pleasure. Look at my arms, you will find no party hand-cuff on them!

DAVY CROCKETT, letter, Jan. 28, 1834

The little boy who goes to the store and forgets what his mother sent him for, will probably grow up to be a congressman.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress.

PETER STONE, 1776: A Musical Play

Congress would give the people what they wanted if the people knew what they wanted, and if Congress could give it to them.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

More than six people cannot agree on anything, three is better and one is perfect for a job that one can do. This is why parliamentary bodies all through history, when they accomplished anything, owed it to a few strong men who dominated the rest.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature Congressman.

MARK TWAIN, New York Daily Tribune, Mar. 10, 1873

Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens—and then everybody disagrees.

BORIS MARSHALOV, attributed, Laughing with Congress

Congress seems drugged and inert most of the time. Even when the problems it ignores build up to crises and erupt in strikes, riots, and demonstrations, it has not moved. Its idea of meeting a problem is to hold hearings or, in extreme cases, to appoint a commission.

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, Unbought and Unbossed

There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Sounds become more like other sounds that neighbor them. That is why one congressman oinks, another moos, and another bleats.

BAUVARD, Evergreens Are Prudish

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.

RONALD REAGAN, attributed, The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan

Congress, after years of stalling, finally got around to clearing the way for informal discussions that might lead to possible formal talks that could potentially produce some kind of tenative agreements ...

DAVE BARRY, attributed, Great Funny Quotes

Congress: Bingo with billions.

RED SKELETON, attributed, The Greatest Quotations of All Time

Next time a man tells you talk is cheap, ask him if he knows how much a session of Congress costs.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee-rooms is Congress at work.

WOODROW WILSON, Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics

Some members of Congress ought to have their mouths taped instead of their speeches.

EVEN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Suppose you were a member of Congress. And suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, Mark Twain: A Biography

If you tell Congress everything about the world situation, they get hysterical. If you tell them nothing, they go fishing.

HARRY S. TRUMAN, The Wit & Wisdom of Harry Truman

About the only time Congress conforms to the will of the people is when it decides to adjourn.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Talk is cheap -- except when Congress does it.

CULLEN HIGHTOWER, attributed, The Greatest Quotations of All Time

I could study all my life and not think up half the amount of funny things they can think of in one Session of Congress.

WILL ROGERS, Will Rogers' Weekly Articles: The Coolidge Years

In Congress the majority governs, but the minority rules.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

The mistakes made by Congress wouldn't be so bad if the next Congress didn't keep trying to correct them.

CULLEN HIGHTOWER, attributed, Great Funny Quotes

The only reason the House hasn't done even more damage is that the Senate often sands down the most noxious ideas, making the bills merely bad, not disastrous.

JONATHAN ALTER, "Tom Delay's House of Shame", Newsweek, Oct. 9, 2005

Members of Congress are like the voters in one respect -- they want to go with the winners.

RALPH NADER, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

GIDEON J. TUCKER, Final Accounting in the Estate of A. B.

As I have worked over the past four years to understand this problem, I have become convinced that while a corruption of Congress is destroying the republic, that corruption is not the product of evil. There is a great harm here, but no bin Laden. There are Jack Abramoffs and Duke Cunninghams, to be sure, but they are the exception, not the rule. And without great evil, I am not yet sure that we can muster the will to fight. We will, I fear, simply tolerate the corruption, as a host tolerates a parasite that is not life threatening. Until it is.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, preface, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

He still had a fragment of his boyhood belief that congressmen were persons of intelligence and importance.


No matter how short the session, Congress always has the necessary time to pass the unnecessary legislation.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes


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