The Plight of H.Res 133

Resolutions are usually non-controversial affairs. They often express the non-binding opinion of Congress and generally pass in lopsided votes.

Of course, not all resolutions introduced pass quickly or at all. The majority never see the House or Senate floor.

But on big issues of national prominence, they tend to move quickly. Take H.Res 58, "Commending the University of Florida Gators for winning the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game." It was introduced on January 13 with 25 co-sponsors. Nine days later, it passed 399-5.

So the fate of H.Res 133 seems surprising. Introduced by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) and co-sponsored by 32 other representatives, the resolution:

(1) recognizes the ascension of an African-American to the office of President of the United States to be a historic achievement; and

(2) honors the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States.

Johnson introduced the resolution on February 4; that day, it was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, where it has sat ever since. Two months after introduction, the resolution is still sitting in committee.

As was noted earlier, it's not unusual for resolutions to sit in committee for a long time. But here are a few resolutions introduced after Johnson's that the House passed:

H.Res 153: Commending the University of Southern California Trojan football team for its victory in the 2009 Rose Bowl. 

H.Res 195: Recognizing and honoring the employees of the Department of Homeland Security on its sixth anniversary for their continuous efforts to keep the Nation safe. 

H.Res 224: Supporting the designation of Pi Day, and for other purposes. 

H.Res 273: Recognizing the 188th anniversary of the independence of Greece and celebrating Greek and American democracy. 

It is worth noting that of the above resolutions, only the one praising Greek independence had more co-sponsors than Johnson's measure. By that standard, it seems like H.Res 133's time for a vote has come and gone, and thus the bill will die in committee.

So what happened? Johnson is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, but no one seems willing to talk about the issue. Multiple calls to Johnson's office went unreturned as did an inquiry to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Is there something sinister afoot, or does Democratic leadership simply have other priorities? Tell us what you think.