Congress mired in partisan nonsense

The latest instance involves GOP senators seeking political advantage by using the filibuster to block the president’s nominations.


The consensus in America is that Republicans and Democrats need to put petty partisan bickering aside and do what’s best for the nation.

That’s why the approval of Congress is at an all-time low, just 12 percent approve of the job senators and representatives are doing.

But what’s even more telling is that about two-thirds of voters don’t approve of their own representative — the very person they elected to the House or Senate.

But apparently both houses of Congress don’t seem to be taking these polls seriously. They refuse to budge an inch from their own political ideology when acting as lawmakers.

For example, Senate Republicans are using filibusters to block several of President Obama’s nominees from being confirmed.

This isn’t a new approach. Democrats blocked President George W. Bush’s nominations in an attempt to gain political advantage over Republicans.

The Senate last week blocked confirmation of Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., who was nominated to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and attorney Patricia Millett’s nomination to a seat on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition, GOP senators are threatening to use the filibuster to block Janet L. Yellen, the current second-in-command at the Federal Reserve, from moving up to Federal Reserve chairman. Obama’s choice for Home Security secretary, Jeh Johnson, is also facing obstruction from Republicans.

If the senators had specific concerns about these nominees related to their ability to serve, all of this would be understandable, but that’s not the case.

The nominations are being held up for a variety of political reasons, such as the effort of Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C.

Graham said he intends to place a “hold” on every nominee until Congress is permitted to delve deeper into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

While we would agree further investigation into Benghazi is needed, tangling issues purely for political leverage is exactly what has created the current recalcitrant Congress. The nation needs to move forward.

Beyond that, the confirmation process is not being used as the Founding Fathers intended. The Constitution says the president makes the appointments with “the advice and consent of the Senate.”

It was never intended to be used to gain political advantage.

Senators and representatives seem more intent on waging an internal political battle than dealing with this country’s huge problems.

The members of Congress, on both sides of the political aisle, need to knock it off.


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