An Open Letter to Congress
To the newly elected members of Congress: welcome, you have some serious work ahead of you.
The just-concluded election cycle is a reminder that you serve as representatives of the people, from you district, your state, and your country. Superseding their will with your own is not what is expected you. Instead, you are here to do the peoples’ business and there is much to do.
Therefore, your focus and attention should not be on past grudges but instead on steering the country forward. Too often, your predecessors have kicked the can down the road rather than make the tough calls or play political gamesmanship that makes the people and the markets nervous.
As you take your oaths of office, remember you are promising to uphold the Constitution, which was forged by the Founding Fathers after spirited debate, but more importantly, through compromise. The notion that one party cannot work with another for fear of being branded a traitor is nonsense. There appear to remain certain caucuses, notably the Freedom Caucus, that seems to feel all or nothing is how to make a point. One party gainsaying and withhold hearings and votes on matters from the other side out of spite is childish behavior, beneath each and every one of you.
While those acts may make you feel like you’re scoring points at home, it also paralyzes Congress’ ability to function on behalf of we, the people, who entrusted you with representing our interests.
The current Senate has worked 149 days this year, the shortest working calendar since 1956. The House will be in session just 111 days this year. We have way too much work to do for this to continue. Instead, you should remain in session for as long as it takes for committees to hold their hearings and for the body to vote on legislation.
Like it or not, Congress has to work with the Executive and Judicial branches. They are not adversaries but essential parts in what makes America great. You won’t like every matter issued from either branch, but together, you can accomplish great things.
Taxes, the environment, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and other issues await your attention. Bickering, name calling, and ideological intransigence is counterproductive and not why you were given our trust. As you take your places in the Capitol come January, remember why you are there. You are public servants and we look forward to prompt, attentive service.