Capitol Hill’s Dysfunction is Alive and Well

Dan Celia
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Posted: Jul 21, 2017 10:15 AM
Capitol Hill’s Dysfunction is Alive and Well

Throughout the Obama administration, I talked about the dysfunction of Capitol Hill. Most of it came at the hands of Republicans who routinely ran the white flag of surrender up the flagpole every chance they got. I continue to be astonished at how the lack of unity in the Republican Party shows no signs of going away.

Now we are being subjected (painfully, I might add) to congressional representatives and senators talking about what the people want, and that they need to take this health care plan to the people. It almost sounds as if they know what the people want.

I can’t help but feel insulted for the American people as these lawmakers speak, as if we are the problem. After all, we just don’t understand. I must admit I felt a little sad for them—that they would go on public airwaves and talk about what the people want and what Congress must do.  

If they knew this all this time, I’m confused as to why they can’t unite over the common causes of what the people want—not to mention what is good for America.


A Do-Nothing Congress

Here we are, seven months into a new Congress that is so accustomed to not doing anything they still can’t manage to get anything done. I understand—as House Majority Leader Paul Ryan would say—there have been conversations about tax reform and health care reform and that Congress is working feverishly to get things done. And I understand all that conversation can be very tiring.

I’ve even heard rumors legislators have had conversations over lunch. (We know that can’t be true because that would require doing two things at once.) They certainly need a vacation, at least until September, so they can rest from all that conversation before they start conversing again.

I’ve also heard rumors that there are actually separate committees, like the House Ways and Means Committee, that are supposed to be working in tandem with other committees so that the work of the people can get done.

Well, the latter is obviously just a rumor because no committee working on tax reform could ever dare get over the stumbling blocks of health care reform, Russia or whatever the mainstream media might be saying.

Then there’s the pesky notion that there might be some sort of confrontational conversation with the Democrats and the media. They wouldn’t dare want to go there. It’s just not something that the Grand Old Party engages in, unless of course it can be done in a soft, eloquent kind of surrender.


The People’s Agenda

Then, of course, let us not forget K Street (where most lobbyists are headquartered) and other special interest groups that need to be Congress’ No. 1 priority. Because, after all, everyone can agree that what they care about most is keeping their jobs.

I know I’m speaking in generalities. Certainly, I understand there is a remnant, small as it may be, of committed legislators who care about America and the American people.

However, I would like to take a moment to speak for the rest of middle-class, hard-working American conservatives.

We are sick and tired of this dysfunction and total disregard for the American people, and now a total disregard for the president’s pro-growth agenda. I suspect the approval rating for Congress can only go lower—if that’s possible. Indeed, I’m sick and tired of revisiting the same old things I’ve been talking about for the past 10 years—the effects this dysfunction has had on America.

Make no mistake about it: dysfunction is not the real problem. Dysfunction is only the effect; its cause is rooted in an obvious lack of leadership. This lack of leadership, combined with economically inept maneuvers and an apparent lack of desire to do the people’s work, has created this dysfunction.


A President Who Cares


The problem is this appearance of dysfunction has been exacerbated by a president who truly has the best interests of America at heart. Congress can no longer hide its dysfunction behind a presidential agenda or an ideology that is diametrically opposed to theirs. Their lack of leadership and lack of unity is standing out for all to examine.

The leadership of the Republican Party is consumed by maintaining its royal elite status and certainly the notion that they know what is right for the American people. Yet, I think it’s quite obvious that the American people spoke loud and clear when they elected a pro-growth, pro-strength, pro-business, anti-tax, anti-regulation and pro-American exceptionalism administration that seeks to boost jobs and the economy.

GOP leaders seem so consumed with their elite status that they maintain business as usual in the cesspool of Washington, D.C. They want to win the war even though they lack an ability to identify the enemy. The problem with the Republican Party for the past 10 years is they have been so consumed with winning the war that they refuse to fight any battles.

Somehow, it isn’t quite clear to them that last November the American people signaled they were ready for a battle. Republicans on Capitol Hill may actually believe they can win some kind of war without even having a few battles.

George Washington lost countless battles before winning the Revolutionary War. Thanks to the persistence and rallying cries of freedom, independence and country that the soldiers united around, they continued to fight. Even the midst of lost battles, they pressed on, and—most importantly—remained united to win the war.


Where to Eat?


We now live in a state of dysfunction that is widely understood. The Republicans on Capitol Hill can’t unite on where to go to lunch, let alone rally around a pro-growth agenda and a leader the American people put into office.

The American people finally got a leader who is unapologetically willing to stand up for the nation and its people, as well as fight for what is right and best for America. We have an American president who is not trying to be president of the world, but strives to put America first in all things.

Sadly, his own party can’t rally around a man who doesn’t care a lick about some sort of royal elite status, special interest groups or K Street. President Donald Trump cares about making America great again, while Capitol Hill cares about getting reelected again.

I would submit that Republicans on Capitol Hill are making a serious miscalculation about the American people, who put this president in office. They will be the same Americans that will put them out of office if they can’t rally around the people’s work and find the backbone to battle for America. Maybe they will be able to find a job in the real world.