Why The 113th Congress Sucks

MICHAEL O’SULLIVAN

The United States have been embroiled in political turmoil that results from a two-party system since John Adams was elected in 1797. For as long as most of us can remember, our nation has been a bipartisan political war zone, with battles over everything from foreign conflict, economic crisis, and even educationimgresal standards.

Congress may always get its quota of exasperated sighs and discontented growls from the populace, we felt that this Congress deserved a special shout out. Although it has plenty of faults, my opinion of the Congress is cemented by three major issues that affect everyone, all the way down to this school. Without further adieu, lets take a look at why our leadership is failing at their jobs.

Article I: Bipartisan Tensions
The two largest political parties are well known to just about any American: Democratic and Republican.  Under the bipolar climate of the parties, the concepts of cooperation and progress have wilted under an incessant need to shut down the opposing party.

To understand, one must look at the makeup of both of the branches of Congress. Of 100 senators, 55 are Democrats and 45 are Republicans.  Though a victory by a single vote is technically possible, the standard protocol is that any bill must be passed with a two-thirds majority. This itself doesn’t even matter because of the House’s composition: 200 Democrats, 232 Republicans. Because bills must pass through both branches to succeed, either branch can kill the bill that started in the other.

How does this hurt everyone, including us?  Any reform or bill introduced by any party will be unhesitatingly shot down by the opposing party simply due to spite, even if it is universally accepted as beneficial to the people.

Article II: Filibuster.
That’s a fun word, is it not? Well, its not a fun thing, unless you love 15+ hour speeches. A filibuster is an exceedingly long speech with the idea that the prolonged speech will both halt debates and stall any voting so as to shut down a bill.

Many legislations have been made to try to stop this practice; in fact, one of the first acts of the new congress was to try and eliminate this practice. Guess what, they stalled on this and managed to kill off this bill at the time of year that it had the best chance of passing.  This practice of delay hurts everyone, especially when decisions are urgent.

We almost crossed the fiscal cliff recently, which would mean astronomically lower funding for everything, including this school district.  The near catastrophe was almost entirely due to stalling tactics used on both sides to further their own side rather than the good of the people.  The constant stalling is not entirely due to filibuster alone, but any practice that gives the 113th Congress anymore power to halt legislation is a fault to them in my book.

Article III:  Non-politics in the Congress
Diversity is a celebrated part of this new congress, and rightly so.  The 113th Congress has more women and LGBT members than ever before.  In reality, the congress is going about “integration” in all the wrong ways.  One of the founding principles of our nation is that all People are created equal, yet gender, race, ethnicity and orientation continue to alter how people view others politicians.  Instead of identifying those groups considered “minorities” in the political world by their politics, we identify them by their distinguishing feature.

The 113th Congress boasts of being the most diverse in history up to this point, yet through this distinction they fail to accept these people as fellow members of the political system. This separation crosses down into the average people, including us.  Politicians campaign more off of these traits than their real practices, lowering the quality and trustworthiness of the political spectrum. This inevitably leads to more hardships on the average citizens and schools.

The 113th Congress may be in its infancy, but its a baby that was born to fail.  Given the pattern  of its build, and its less than stellar inheritance, this is one government we will have to watch out for.

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