US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Like many Americans, I stayed up into the late hours last week to watch the dramatic vote on the ‘skinny repeal’, a last ditch effort to cripple Obamacare. After the failure of the Senate to pass the legislation, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch tweeted “I’m disappointed. But there are things that we all, Republicans and Democrats, agree need to be fixed. So we can’t give up.” I couldn’t agree more. So, now it’s time for both Democrats and Republicans to return to regular order and work together to solve pressing problems facing this country.
This country works best when the two major parties can bring their best ideas to the table and work together to find common ground. Republicans and Democrats used to be able to work together to get important things done. Ronald Reagan worked with Tip O’Neill. Bill Clinton worked with Newt Gingrich. Democrats and Republicans voted for The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, signed into law by President G. W. Bush in 2003. Then things began to change. Compromise became a dirty word. Former speaker John Boehner famously said, “I reject the word compromise.” But even he was forced out of his leadership position by hardliners who thought he compromised too much.
Instead of working with an incoming president, the party out of power became the party of “no.” Members of Congress who reached across the aisle were met with primary opponents. Many even admitted that, while they were friends behind the scenes with their congressional counterparts, they would have to appear enemies in front of the camera. The Republicans refused to work with President Obama and some Democrats refuse to work with President Trump. America loses. The CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, recently blew up on an earnings call over the dysfunction of Congress and its inability to get things done. Washington’s dysfunction hurts American businesses and consumers, and fuels the distrust and frustration many Americans feel toward government.
It is time for this to change. If we want a Congress that works, Republicans and Democrats must do as Arizona Sen. John McCain declared in…