"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Monday, March 10th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
- 3:44:17, Mar 7th 2014 - Robert - Fossil fuels are damaging are resources, polluting are air & water and destr ... [Read More]
- 12:32:02, Mar 7th 2014 - - "Turks suffered at the hands of Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Hundreds of thousand ... [Read More]
- 7:38:38, Mar 5th 2014 - bootscoot21 - Thank you Dr. Van Gorp for this complete look at what our generation is ... [Read More]
- 8:39:53, Mar 4th 2014 - email@example.com - Excellent commentary, very thoughtful. Although quite len ... [Read More]
- 9:54:09, Mar 1st 2014 - - We have lost a good friend from Harmony High school class of 1970. I have many goo ... [Read More]
- 9:48:08, Mar 1st 2014 - - Rest in Peace Loenard ... [Read More]
- 9:14:19, Feb 25th 2014 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Eric, I don't know if you remember me but I am Erik Paulsen's M ... [Read More]
- 8:58:12, Feb 25th 2014 - jjoyengel - You are both wonderful people! You have and are doing something not just ... [Read More]
- 3:16:25, Feb 24th 2014 - TY - THANK YOU FCJ! I am not sure any of this would have happened without the excelle ... [Read More]
- 6:29:53, Feb 23rd 2014 - Proud family member - Thank you for this wonderful article about my nephew and his fa ... [Read More]
Fri, Dec 9th, 2005
Posted in Commentary
Posted in Commentary
I am a great fan of Congress. It is, to my mind, the American institution that best represents our democracy and guards our freedoms.
Without it, there is no way for our nation to guarantee freedom, ensure that the passions of the moment are cooled in deliberate debate, or check the power of the President. So I am distressed to say that at the moment, I am not a fan of how Congress operates, or fails to operate. Indeed, there are now so many serious issues that have been allowed to spiral out of control and so many problems going unresolved that Congress, as an institution, is in deep trouble. In particular, I believe that: Congress has allowed the budget to get out of control. It has become far too responsive to narrow special interests. It has refused to deal effectively with the fragility of our electoral process. It is exceptionally polarized. Fairness in the legislative process has broken down. It has refused to look seriously at reshaping itself to deal with the nation’s current challenges. Its members spend too much of their week campaigning, and not enough time doing the hard work of governing. And finally, it has ceded its war powers to the President. All of this has hurt Congress, to the point where people who care about it now openly debate whether it can pull out of its alarming tailspin. So what should our response be? Should we just give up on the institution? Of course not. We need to become more engaged, more involved, more insistent that Congress measure up to its constitutional responsibilities. Congress is at heart a resilient, self-correcting institution that is responsive to the clearly expressed will of the people. I know it can do better, and if prodded enough, it will. As citizens, we always have a responsibility to become involved in the work of Congress, but never more so than when we think it has gotten off track. Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.