The Congress of the United States

An Open Letter to Every Member of the United States Congress

This is a really tough time for all Americans. We have taken for granted for so long believing that every member of the federal government serves for the needs of the people of the United States and serves for nothing else. Until the past few years, that understanding was mostly accurate. That’s not so true today.

Members of Congress, you committed in your oath of office to serve Americans specifically and the Country in general. You committed when running for office to represent those of us from your constituency to serve in D.C. to make voters wishes heard and to vote the way that best serves their interests. Where did that commitment get lost? It IS  lost.

Does the reason for approval ratings for members of Congress in the teens bother you? Honestly, we Americans cannot understand how Congress can keep operating as “normal” knowing that  9 of every 10 Americans hate the job Congressional members are performing.

This is NOT a Democrat or Republican thing, not at all a political thing — this is an American thing. Fundamentals come into play here and should be the ONLY things in play. There IS a road-map that leads to finding what are the best things for Americans, selling the benefits of those “best” things to us, then creating and submitting a bill in Congress to get approved and signed into law. In past years,  members of Congress did that exact thing. But that practice is no more.

Obamacare passed without a single GOP vote. The recently passed tax reform law passed without a single Democrat vote. This happened in both cases with leadership members of both major parties crying to Americans through millions of dollars of advertising, special interest ad campaigns, much handshaking and trips from E Street lobbyists to the Capitol.

Members of Congress, we Americans get you! We understand what it is that intimidates you in such a blatantly hostile environment and we watch as that influence often changes votes. Sometimes it affects the outcomes of major elections. But here’s where most in Congress  have missed it:

It is NOT about Democrat or Republican, Independent, Conservative or Progressive. This is about your representation of the people from your district voting to renew your role and its symbolism in this Warfare. Make no mistake: it IS a war. And Americans feel that you don’t get it. Sadly, I concur.

Case in Point: DACA/Immigration/Debt Limit Increase

It is Insanity to Americans that Congressional partisanship has created a pandemic of uncertainty regarding DACA/Immigration, and A Debt Limit Increase. It proves how broken Constitutional lawmaking is. And to Americans, it’s as if you all walk outside in the morning, lick your finger and hold it up in the air. Whichever way the wind blows that morning is the way you’ll vote.

The paradox  that Congressional debate and votes on issues seems to NEVER be about the merit of the voted on bill. Votes seem to always go the way the wind blows down from those in leadership in each political party. What happened to Congressional members representing the desires of their constituents? Party leaders do NOT elect members of Congress. But after the D.C. arrival it seems lobbyists and political party leadership pre-determine every vote.

Examples:

For decades the Congress has been toying with a comprehensive Immigration plan. “Toying” is the optimal word. How can 535 full-time employees of the People not take care of this critical issue? It’s been a political football kicked around D.C. through about 6 presidential administrations with NO action taken.

We don’t understand this one thing about you: we HAVE immigration laws. They were passed by Congress. Congress is the only body that can change laws (regardless of what President Obama thought with his Executive Order on DACA). If laws are bad — CHANGE THEM! If there are not enough votes to change laws, that means the people who lawmakers represent from their districts do not want those laws to change. That’s the way the Constitution structures the lawmaking process: to be “of, by, and for” the People. If changes to laws or new laws cannot be passed, leave the laws in place and enforce them!

Certainly there are problems with those caught up in DACA that need resolution. Certainly there are other extremely relevant immigration problems that scream for fixes. YOU CAN AND MUST FIX THEM!

“Well we’d do it, but Republicans will not come to the table and negotiate with us. We demand this and we will not give an inch unless we are promised this, this, and this.” (Democrats)

“Well we’d do it, but Democrats will not come to the table and negotiate with us. We demand this and we will not give an inch unless we are promised this, this, and this.” (Republicans)

And Americans hear the same arguments for the proposed mandatory federal budget, raising the debt limit, and pretty much every other issue that falls into the legislative process. Congress exists to make laws for the benefit of the American people — AND NOTHING ELSE.

Summary

It has come to this: remember when we were kids on a car trip with our parents and siblings? When we got too loud and rowdy in the back seat and Dad said, “Don’t make me come back there!” We Americans are at that point now with Congress. It certainly is not that you are too rowdy. It’s that you don’t get any legislation completed…you’re not rowdy at all!

To make it worse, when deadlines approach, instead of having a plan completed, debated, amended and ready for a vote, you wait until the midnight hour and it becomes an emergency. Good decisions are seldom made with a gun pointed to your head.

American voters are tired of it. Here’s what the large majority of Americans want from Congress: either do whatever is necessary to pass legislation wanted by voters OR RESIGN!

Virtually every issue Congress seriously considers is determined by the winds of special interest and lobbying  groups who spend millions lobbying for “favored” results. STOP IT! Congress needs to outlaw lobbying —- PERIOD!

Americans are at a tipping point regarding Congress and the horrendous waste of American time and money.

The winds of structural Congressional change are in the air. It would not be good for you to ignore that wind that’s blowing. You will not hear that “Don’t make me come back there.” We’re coming back there! And when we do it will be to clean house.

It’s  past time for Congress to get to work, stay at work, and get things done.

It’s cliche to say it, “Just Do It!”


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