Thursday, this nation’s 113th Congress convened with 82 new House members and 13 new senators among those taking the oath of office.
All House members were engaged in re-election efforts, and it’s a good bet all pledged to work in the best interests of the country and put partisan politics aside for the good of the country.
It’s likely those in contested Senate races made the same pledge relative to trying to bring about sound legislation.
It all sounds good, but what are the chances of these lofty campaign promises being fulfilled? Not good!
Rep. Matt Salmon, an Arizona Republican, didn’t sound optimistic when talking about the relationship between Congress and President Obama. He said, “It’s like the most dysfunctional family I’ve ever seen. It’s very frustrating that we can’t put aside some of our partisan differences.”
However, in their campaigns to gain voter support, House and Senate members, as well as President Obama, made many pledges about how they would vote on various thorny issues carried over from the previous Congress and how they would vote on policies favored by Obama. Too often, pledges are made and then broken.
Obama talks about wanting to work with Republicans to achieve legislation that he says is best for the country but, at the same time, he makes it clear he will veto legislation he does not personally favor. He does not want to compromise!
The seriousness of many issues facing Congress and how those issues will affect this nation and every citizen cannot be overstated. The national debt is a disgrace. The ever-increasing role or control of government in the lives of every American, the jobless situation, illegal immigration, the cost of entitlement programs and the sustainability of Social Security, the growing number of Americans who rely on government handouts and tax issues are just a few of the matters that merit serious attention and action by Congress.
However, far too many in Congress are focused on “how do I keep my job, how can I be re-elected,” rather than concentrating on “doing what is best for my country.” This means voting for programs and policies that will please the most voters in each state and House district across the country.
How can Congress fail to take positive action relative to the “fiscal cliff” matter and allow continued, uncontrolled growth of government? Lawmakers postpone, delay, kick the can down the road, talk out of both sides of their mouths, base actions on public polls rather than what’s best for the future of this country. They disregard what has made this country great and allow this nation and its people to slip and slide further into a socialized state.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be reason to hope for change in the actions and vision of Congress and the president based on what the public has witnessed over the past four years. The danger is Obama does not have to worry about being re-elected so he is free to do whatever he wishes to execute the policies and laws to change America as he called for when campaigning for his first term in the White House.
Who knows or who can predict the condition or level of personal freedom in this country four years from now? Sadly, those in Congress apparently don’t have the backbone or courage to place the country’s best interests in the forefront, rather than trying to appease their constituents and win their next re-election effort.