Ethics and Congress
The terms ethics and Congress appear to be a situation which is non-existent given the lack of approval for the job Congress is now doing. Overall there may be a problem with Ethics in Congress but we should not judge individuals within Congress by opinion of Congress as a whole. The manner in which Congress and the process which governs how each body of Congress operates does not necessarily represent every individual elected to serve their respective district or state.
The concept of ethics compared to the manner in which Congress seems to conduct business on a daily basis leaves much to be desired. Each of us as we vote or have voted impact the political makeup of Congress and the integrity with which it acts. It is undeniably a fact that the present political makeup of Congress needs to change in the upcoming election. This change does not necessarily involve changing the party in control of either the House or the Senate but the principles by which those we elect govern.
The culture in Congress has seen some scandals within each body which brings up the question of ethics and integrity in how decisions are made and who had an impact on how each of the members voted. Having ethics does not necessarily mean we will agree with every decision as this is not a possibility or at this juncture a probability. Many decisions are made both by the Senate and the House of Representatives on a daily basis some with good reason are behind closed doors involving such things as national security. Many other decisions should be made in full view of the public through such coverage as CNN and others.
It is understandable but not necessarily acceptable in some cases that negotiations between both houses of Congress are made behind closed doors. Those we elect to represent us must face re-election at their given interval and members do not necessarily want to be seen as weak in the eyes of their constituents. Another possible reason may be the lack of cooperation from one party or another in coming to an agreement on important issues. The culture of Congress in some respects give the impression whether it is right or not is the atmosphere of it is my way or the highway. This culture needs to change and those who take this attitude should be worried when they are up for re-election.
It is also understandable in some respects to stand your ground when it is the right thing to do though the opinion of the voter as to what the right action should be may be different. The culture of ethics or the existence of ethics I feel does exist within some individuals in Congress but they are not in high enough numbers to make a difference. We need to closely examine the records of those we elect in the 2014 election to ask ourselves whether they have served their constituents or served their party. It can be both if the position they are taking is in the best interest of their constituents and the country.
Political decisions are made every day in Congress and this is the way it has been for years regardless of which party is in power. This will only change if we the voters send a message we are done with the way Congress is operating through our votes. It is difficult at times to know which individual we should re-elect or elect to represent us in either house. There are good individuals in both parties serving not only their constituents but our country. We must make sure we keep these individuals and replace those who do not appear to serve either their constituents or our country.
The last point to make is the concept of ethics given the current approval rate of Congress is that ethics is dead regarding the way Congress operates. It is understandable to some extent that members want to show they are serving their constituents by initiating legislation or sending money to their district or state. This is sometimes considered to be pork legislation which is often tied to legislation needing passage which in many cases has nothing to do with the subject of the legislation. Legislation should go through, if it does not already, justification for spending the money necessary to address real needs in any area of our country. Granted we are in financial constraints and this makes it even more critical that legislation have some criteria to meet before it is submitted for a vote. Let us hope those we elect in the upcoming election in 2014 are individuals of character and ethics to do the right thing for our country.