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The need for elected officials be present to evaluate proposals and attend committee meetings

Updated on October 13, 2014

Individuals elected at the state and federal government levels have a job to do but there have been many reports where individuals are out campaigning or fundraising not in attendance for votes and committee meetings. In addition the sessions of legislatures are not year round and some feel this is contrary to the job they were elected them to do. Being an elected official has some responsibilities and those responsibilities must be fulfilled. State and federal governments have issues which must be resolved not left to the next legislature.

We often hear about the congressional recesses at the federal government level and there is always a push to get legislation through Congress before a recess begins. I understand the need to get away from the pressure of congressional activities but the length of recesses seem excessive and too often. This election year has seen reports or ads that current senators or representatives have been absent from committee meetings on important issues. This is a failure to the responsibilities for which they were elected. Another responsibility is to attend meetings of committees for which they are a member. The only possible exception would involve being on multiple committees with meetings at the same time. In this instance some arrangements must or should be made to ensure satisfying their responsibilities for all committees in which they are a member.

In an election year there is a need for campaigning and fundraising and to some extent communicating with their constituents who elected them. The technology today offers options for communicating with voters in the district they represent. The campaign ads in many cases are negative against opponents but not always. It is important that political ads tell the truth which many feel is not the case.

I am suggesting a new perspective for election campaigning. Officials currently serving their constituents should be able to stand on their record since the previous election when they were faced with being replaced or sent back to continue their work. The problem today is many senators and representatives are feeling the unfavorable opinion about their records. Actions or inactions at the federal government level are the result of decisions made by our elected officials.

The voters are fast learning about the repercussions of laws passed by Congress and in some cases pushed down the throats of us the voters and each and every citizen. The promise of improving conditions associated with specific legislation has not turned out to be true. In fact in some instances it was known prior to legislation being enacted that statements being made were false and were known ahead of time.

The American public does not like being lied to when it comes to decisions being made by Congress which impacts their lives in a negative way. It is understood that sometimes negative impacts regarding some legislative actions may not always be known but when they occur they need to be corrected not ignored. Everyone makes mistakes and in this instance Congress has made some mistakes with some enacted legislation but efforts to correct these negative impacts has fallen on what appears to be deaf ears. Elected officials should work for the benefit of the country and their constituents and when they are hurting as a result of laws passed.

The problems with legislation being passed or not has a direct correlation with whether our elected officials are at their post learning about the details of legislation and actually reading them before casting a vote. Congress takes too many recesses and the recesses they take are too long. There are some examples where individuals in both houses of Congress do not take the recess and stay on the job. These are the kinds of individuals we need in Congress provided the decisions they make are for the betterment of our country and the constituents they serve. In our jobs we receive a salary and are expected to be on the job and failure to meet our responsibilities may see actions to terminate our employment. In the private sector there are not long periods where a business is not in operation for if there were that business may cease to exist.

The responsibilities of Congress are critical to the country and our elected officials need to at their post doing the country’s business. Just before Congress is getting ready to adjourn for a recess our elected officials get bombarded with legislative actions which must be decided before a recess begins. This is not the way we expect our government to satisfy their responsibilities. Our elected officials need to have ample time to review and evaluate the content of each piece of legislative proposal before they are forced to give a yes or no vote on the proposal. Flooding our elected officials with large quantities of proposals does not allow a quality review to be performed. There has even been a comment made in the past that the legislation must be passed so we can read it to know what is in it. Individuals representing us in Congress or at the state level should never make a decision about any proposed legislation without reading it. It is contrary to the duties and responsibilities to which we have entrusted them.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 3 years ago


      I totally agree with your comment. Today there are all kinds of opportunities to communicate with the public but there does need to be some face to face communication.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Our government has become far too large and too complex. The average person has a hard time keeping up with it. I agree that the politicians should attend to business and be in attendance when needed. However, they should also keep as much contact(besides fundraising) with the public to inform us of what is going on and why.