... and continue to ignore the most serious problems facing America
Eric LaMont Gregory
Now that a single party has a majority in both chambers of the US Congress, what can the public expect?
Regrettably, the answer to that question is more of the same.
The majority party of the House and soon be of the Senate as well, has maintained a policy of obstruction since the advent of the current administration, that is, since the election in 2008. Their major claim over the last six years has been that the House of Representatives has passed legislation to address unemployment, forestall foreclosures, to make America energy independent as well as cleaner and safer, but all their good efforts have been blocked because of the majority party in the Senate has been sitting on that legislation and not bringing it to the floor for debate and a chance to vote it up or down. In January, when control of the House and Senate will be under the same party, much of the legislation passed by the House over the last few years, when exposed to increased scrutiny, will be shown to be, in a word, balderdash. Not unlike the budget produced by Congressman Ryan during the fever of the last presidential election.
Presidential hopefuls, Paul and Cruz, have made a senatorial career out of blocking presidential nominees and will continue to do so. Although, when you ask a nominee a thousand questions, it is obvious that you have no particular policy interest in the nominee's area of concern, because if you did you would narrow in on several key issues to attempt to garner influence in those areas. But, this was not the intention of these headline-grabbing obstructionist senators.
In our system of government, the military is under civilian control and not the other way around. The war powers of Congress are steadfast and the responsibility to provide for the common defense rests with the legislative branch of our government. It will be most interesting to review the majority party's plans and strategies to confront the growing threat of the Islamic State insurgency in Syria and Iraq and authorize whatever they deem necessary to assist the beleaguered Afghan forces whose current rate of losses is simply not sustainable.
And, speaking of the unsustainable, in the first fracas between the to-be Senate majority leader and the president, the senator suggested that the intention of the president to continue the use of executive action to address immigration among other problems, was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. The idea that it is a fair and accurate analogy to compare the senate under his leadership as a bull is fantastically erroneous and is simply unsustainable.
The course of this midterm election has run along lines that do not present any historic anomalies. And the oft-repeated statement that the recent candidates from the now minority party in the Congress feared to involve the president in their campaigns, because of his supposed toxic effect, ignores the fact that the now minority party in the House and Senate has always been cowardly.
My earliest encounters with that party was to listen to their candidates tell my parents and others working for equality under law, how they were in favor of equal rights, but they did not want to push too hard, because that could result in a backlash and push the cause of equality before the law in the wrong direction. Interestingly, when they had the majority in the Congress, their cowardice reared its face again they did nothing but worry about the possibility of a backlash.
And, there you have the root cause of yet another low-voter-turnout cycle of midterm elections.
Fortunately for America, the next two years will pass quickly, although the new majority party in the Senate will take that long to start thinking again about the fate of this country and less about how to obstruct the current administration.
But, old habits die hard.
Six years is a long time to do nothing, and nothing is exactly what the American people have gotten from the Congress of the United States of America.