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Is Congress living up to its responsibilities?

Updated on October 22, 2013

Overall Congress living up to its responsibilities in the current cultural environment to say the least is not happening. Congress has many responsibilities not the least of which is representing their constituents and making the right decisions for our country. Clearly in many cases actions being taken by Congress in terms of the laws passed, the agreements made and the regulations being created resulting from the laws does not satisfy congressional responsibilities.

The latest battle over the shutdown and the potential for another in a few months raises concern about whether Congress overall cares about the responsibilities with which they are entrusted. Both political parties are to blame but within each of them there are good individuals who care about this country and take their responsibilities seriously. Congress needs to show the American people that they take their responsibilities seriously and tackle the issues facing our country especially our increasing deficit and the money it spends. Decisions need to be made not based on party positions but on what is right for this country.

Recent polls have indicated the approval rating for Congress is continuing to decline and the recent shutdown event is in large part the reason. Neither political party won the shutdown battle. Each party needs to understand the frustration of the public in terms of how it was handled and how it was ended for now. Along with the frustration with Congress not living up to their responsibilities the individuals up for re-election in 2014 faces an uncertain future with the voters. Each member of the House of Representatives and those up for election in the Senate must ask themselves whether the decisions they have made represented not only their constituents but the country. Are their constituents happy with their actions or are they in jeopardy of losing their seat based on their actions.

The responsibilities of Congress are identified article 1 of the Constitution with respect to the responsibilities and authority of the federal government. It is the responsibility of the House of Representatives and the Senate to make the necessary laws which address the responsibilities of the federal government nothing more and nothing less. It is true that some laws have been created which are felt overstep the bounds granted to it under the Constitution. Congress has a responsibility and the authority to enact legislation to address issues concerning the subjects to which they are entrusted in the Constitution.

Our political system is the best if not the best in the world in terms of its structure. The problem is not the structure it is the individuals elected within the structure making bad decisions with regards to the problems facing our country. Granted there are several controversial topics now being discussed within the current session of Congress and whether the actions which will evolve are the right ones will be evaluated by the voters in 2014. We as individuals have access to provide our opinions to our elected officials and if we feel that they are making poor choices we should let them know. Those who received widespread unsatisfied responses from their constituents should be worried if they are up for re-election.

The next election will be another critical one for the future of our country. Those we elect or re-elect will have great impact on our future and our financial security. Our rising debt needs to be adequately addressed and we need to elect those or re-elect those individuals who take our financial situation seriously and have logical options to address it. Granted logical is based on our perception but it should be based on how the proposals would impact our country, whether positively or negatively. Each individual should identify their perception for the future of our country and their positions on how to resolve them. We do not want to keep kicking the can down the road and not face our inability to provide the support we have promised to each individual in this country. The future shortfall for Social Security along with other programs needs to be resolved permanently. We need to elect or re-elect individuals who will tackle the big issues head-on and fix the problems.


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