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Seriously, doesn’t Congress have anything better to do? We can think of plenty

March 15, 2008
The United States has a national debt of more than $9 trillion. American troops remain embroiled in a campaign against terrorism. The Social Security program is broken. Health care costs concern virtually everyone.

And some members of Congress are preoccupied with professional athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs.

On a list of the top 20 — heck, make that the top 100 — concerns of the “average American,” we doubt that performance-enhancing drugs would even make it up to bat. Yet members of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection continue to while away the winter with hearings on the non-issue. A new round of them was being held this week, with testimony from figures in professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey and the Olympics.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., chairman of the panel, promised reporters that, “Everybody will have a chance (to testify), and then we are going to come up with a bill.”

To do what? Protect American consumers from professional athletes who cheat? Control trade and commerce involving substances that may not be good for human beings — but, in most cases, aren’t illegal?

Surely members of Congress have better things to do. We suspect we speak for most Americans in suggesting that they “take a knee” and allow the clock to run out on their useless, publicity-seeking hearings.


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