At the end of this week congress will adjourn for its five week summer recess.
A humanitarian crisis has overwhelmed our southern border. The VA is a train wreck. Our infrastructure is crumbling and outdated. Our education system is failing our children. Research and development has virtually ground to a halt due to lack of funding. Our schools have become killing fields. The middle class is disappearing. 50 million Americans live in poverty including 16 million children. 47 million are on food stamps…
…and the most ineffective congress in American history is headed for the beach.
They might as well go home given their activities in recent days.
Moderate Republicans spent the last two weeks holding hearings to discuss Boehner’s politically motivated lawsuit against the president. Tea Party Republicans have sequestered themselves behind closed doors to discuss impeachment. Meanwhile Democrats have done nothing but ridicule the Republican hearings and closed door meetings.
There are rumors that congress may have cobbled together enough support to pass some sort of VA reform measure before heading for home. No surprise here. There is nothing that our elected leaders fear more than facing a town hall of angry veterans who want to know how a congress that is so good at sending soldiers off to war is so inept at tending to their needs when they returned home.
VA reform should have been put to bed months ago. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders and Neo-conservative John McCain sponsored a bill that passed through the senate with bi-partisan support. But Boehner refused to allow a vote in the House. He felt that the bill cost too much money and he didn’t want to force his members to go on record with a “no” vote that they would have to answer for later.
House Republicans have turned obstruction into a science. Senate Democrats have turned the pocket veto into an art form.
So how do we change the culture of Washington gridlock? How do we return the art of governing to our nation’s capital when Citizen United rewards fund raising over intellectual competency? I wish I knew.
I do know this! It’s up to us, the voters. A vast majority of us want to see progress in our government. It's up to us to make that happen.
We can reward politicians who choose governing over obstruction. If a politician wants our vote he/she should have to be “for” something not just “against” everything. We can do this. We can throw out the incumbents who place a premium of job security at the expense of progress. We can demand term limits so that governing takes precedent over campaigning. And we can boldly entrust control of the House, Senate and White House into the hands of one political party…if we can stomach the consequences.
All of these solutions are problematic. But they are all feasible.
It’s up to us!