"It will take an act of Congress” is often not meant literally, but is used as an idiom—for example, “it will take an act of Congress to get him a date.” “It will take an act of Congress” means “it will takea miracle” or “it will take moving heaven and earth to get that accomplished,” meaning any near-impossible task.
“He is entrenched in centre field so strongly that it will take an act of Congress to get him out” was cited in 1930. The negative is also often used. “It doesn’t take an act of Congress to get a good deal here” was cited in a 1940 newspaper advertisement.
“Make a federal case (out of it)” is another popular idiom about the government.
30 March 1930, Boston (MA) Herald, “Red Sox Rout Louisville, 9-1” by Burt Whitman, pg. 17, col. 2:
He is entrenched in centre field so strongly that it will take an act of Congress to get him out.
10 October 1940, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, pg. 10, col. 1 ad:
IT DOESN’T TAKE AN ACT OF CONGRESS TO GET A GOOD DEAL HERE.
1 December 1957, Springfield (MA) Sunday Republican, pg. 13C, col. 8:
‘KID FROM KOREA’
ON ‘OH! SUSANNA’
Susanna Pomeroy (Gale Storm) and Nugey (ZaSu Pitts) harbor a young stowaway aboard the SS Ocean Queen and decide that it will take an act of Congress to keep him from falling into the hands of annoyed Capt. Huxley (Roy Roberts), in “The Kid From Korea,” on The Gale Storm Show, “Oh! Susanna,” tonight (CBS-TV, 6-6:30 p. m., WHYN-TV, Channel 40).
1 December 1971, Big Spring (TX)
IT WON’T TAKE AN ACT OF CONGRESS TO GET YOUR REBATE!!
(Marshal Pollard used cars.—ed.)
Google News Archive
9 October 1976, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “No. 2 Pitt Tries Till It’s Hertz” by Phil Axelrod, pg. 6, col. 1:
It would just about take an Act of Congress for Pitt to lose.
it would take an act of Congress for Alaska Airlines to get a plane off the ground on time
4:52 PM - 24 Sep 2007
William J. Hammon
It Would Take An Act of Congress to Get Me Laid #MyMemoirWouldBeCalled @midnight
3:59 AM - 12 Aug 2015
RICH THOMASELLI | AUGUST 12, 2015 1:02 PM ET
It Will Take An Act Of Congress To Change Airline Fees
Ever hear that old saying “It’ll take an act of Congress?” Well, that’s what it’s going to take – an act of Congress.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, August 10, 2015 • Permalink