Partisan poltics hamper progress in Congress

Michael Feinberg ('08)/ Eastside Staff

congress.jpgAs we begin the primary season of the 2008 Presidential Election it is important to look at the government the future president will be inheriting.

In the first six years as President of the United States, President Bush has overseen the worst terrorist attack on America in recent history, a massive recession, a futile war, the failings of FEMA and many other great “achievements” in American history. But in a way all of this is starting to get, well, boring.

In 2006, “the people” of “We the people” sent a message to the President. After six years, this message said, we are going to hold you and the Republican Party accountable for your actions. In sending this message, they devastated the Republican-controlled Congress and voted in a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate.

All logical thought would conclude that this seemingly momentous act of the American people would have generated some momentous results. In fact, the Democratic candidates promised great reforms on health-care, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and basically the solution to any problem that anyone for anywhere in America.

Thus far the one hundred tenth Congress has achieved one major piece of legislation: raising the minimum wage 70 cents.

Wow.

If I had been old enough to vote in this past election, I would have been outraged. In fact, I still am outraged. Where is the sweeping change? Where are the great reforms? Those who did vote are not giving Congress a free pass either. The latest poll puts the Congressional approval rating at a dismal 11 percent.

I understand that this Congress has not been in session for long. I know that Bush has vetoed important legislation. I know what is happening, but I don’t want excuses. I want results and so do the American people. Let the partisan politics go for a day, and truly achieve something great.

Congress knew that Bush was going to veto their plan to expand health-care coverage, but they passed it anyway. Why? So they would have ammo. At least now they can say, “Well we tried, but [expletive] Bush stopped us again.”

You know what? That’s not good enough. If you want to represent us, if you want the great honor of speaking on the floor of Congress, then you had better deal with the problem. Talk with the President; find out why he is against your bill, and what you can do to pass it. If his suggestions are acceptable and it still allows for the expansion of health-care coverage, then do it. Achieve something.

The truth is that this Congress lacks the courage for real change. So as Hillary and Obama speak about all the great reforms and universal health-care programs they will bring to the American people, be cautious. And whoever becomes President next year, let’s hope they help with the solution instead of becoming yet another problem.