There were a couple of "letters to the editor," published in today's Albuquerque Journal, that seem to me deserving of wider distribution. One identifies the key reason for the "do nothing" Congress.
Sen. Reid's desk is where bills go to dieCedar Crest is one of the small towns outside Albuquerque. Another is Ojo Feliz, from which comes a good suggested long-term solution.
The U.S. House is working, but the Senate is where the obstruction is.
More than 250 bills made it through the U.S. House none of which have made it to the floor of the Senate. Two hundred of the bills were passed in the House with unanimous support ... More than 90 percent of those bills passed the U.S. House with bipartisan support, and more than 100 were passed with 75 percent support of House Democrats. Over 50 were introduced by Democrats.
The U.S. House has passed dozens of reform bills for the VA some bipartisan none of which have made it to the floor of the Senate; (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid stopped them. He didn't give senators the opportunity to even consider them. Over 30 jobs bills are also sitting on Harry Reid's desk, which he also refuses to even put up for a vote.
Senators are (more) focused on special interest groups than the "folks back home." The longer they're in office and live in Washington, the less they feel they need their constituents. You can't fix their arrogance and support for Harry Reid, but you can vote them out.
Put limit on terms, not on corporate fundingFood for thought and action.
RE: Sally-Alice Thompson's letter to the editor "It's Time to Control Money in Politics" (Aug. 26).
Thompson calls on us to support the so-called Democracy for All Amendment as an aid to getting rid of corporate funding of elections.
Basically, she's advocating removing the issue of constitutional protection of political speech from the courts and giving it to Congress so that members of Congress could determine who could engage in political speech and to what extent. This amendment, Brain child of (N.M. Sen.) Tom Udall, would more accurately be called the Incumbent Protection Amendment.
Thompson touches on the real source of the problem but skates right past it. "Why do congressmen so avidly respond to the wishes of the corporations rather than to the requests of the voters ... ? Is it because that's where they get the campaign funds necessary to keep them in their privileged positions?"
I suggest we come at the perceived problem of corporate money in politics by amending the Constitution to limit the terms of all members of Congress. If repeated re-elections are out of the picture, so is much of the opportunity for "you scratch my back with campaign contributions and I'll scratch yours with legislation that benefits you." With term limits and a "cooling-off period" between holding public office and being allowed to hire on as a lobbyist for your favorite corporation, I suspect we could at least chip away at the self-anointed aristocracy that we have allowed our national legislature to become.
Giving Congress the power to aid its supporters and to shut out those who would criticize its members simply compounds the problem.
Elite politicians disconnected from the people.