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Is Congress broken and can it be fixed

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Published on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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It seems as though bipartisanship is creating a Congress that is unwilling to negotiate beyond party lines and with the resignation of Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana, Congress may finally have to step up and recognize that things have got to change.

Bayh, who was previously the governor of his state for eight years and was also listed as a presidential hopeful in the future, stated that Congress is “in need of serious reform.”
“For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should,” he said. “There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem solving.”

It seems the final straw for Bayh was when six Republicans who had co-sponsored a bill with him regarding the deficit ended up voting against the bill because of political reasons. He also felt that the Democrats in Congress needed to compromise more.

In an economy that seems to be stagnate, instead of getting better, and as a country that is still fighting a war on terrorism, having our lawmakers standing on opposite sides, bickering back-and-forth isn’t getting much accomplished, at a time when there is real work to be done.

The real question is, do these elected officials really want to make America better and serve the people who have elected them or do they just want a guaranteed job with a steady income with photo ops and sound bites, so they can feed their need for celebrity?

Maybe Bayh’s father, former Senator Birch Bayh, is right when he says that back in the 1960s when he was a senator, you would legislate for four years and campaign for two, but today it seems that campaigning is their top priority for their entire six-year term.

Our country is in a mess and things have got to change quickly. We need people to represent us who will listen to our needs, not their party’s or special interest’s needs.

Congress needs a swift kick in the butt and if that means getting rid of all of the incumbents and putting new faces and energy in those seats, then let’s do it.
America was not built on sound bites and photo ops.

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