By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO –
When partisan politics prevails, good public policy that would provide for and protect the best interests of the people is defeated and it diminishes all of America. With the gridlock that has defined the relationship of the Obama Administration and the 113th Congress, one would think that things will change when the new 114th Congress convenes in January.
But based on what appears to be intransient partisan positions, the American people may be in for more of the same: partisan politics that results in inaction and trumps the passage of good public policy.
Will there be real immigration reform legislation passed during the term of the 114th Congress?
A bi-partisan bill passed the U.S. Senate many month ago that was never brought to the floor of Congress for a vote, up or down, modification or anything?
Is that behavior doing the business of the people who elected them in the first place?
Then there is The Affordable Health Care Act, known as Obamacare. There seems to be a partisan goal to repeal it, even after more than ten million Americans, most of whom have never had health care insurance now do. Why is there an obsession to repeal rather than make amendments to make it better?
Then there are the all important issues of raising the minimum wage to help working families earn a decent wage, revising the tax codes to make them more fair and equitable.
Great leaders, whether found in the President, a Senator, or member of the House of Representatives, know firsthand that the pathway to achieving effective public policy when the stakes are very high, and the country is in a state of crisis, is compromise.
Every major crisis this country has faced, at the end of the day, required a willingness of elected officials to sit around the table in earnest and work toward arriving at the best solution given the circumstance. But partisanship trumps public policy in the 113th Congress. Will it in the 114th ? Will compromise really be sought to arrive at the best solutions possible?
A willingness to follow that pathway, which is replete with examples of how it has worked in both recent and distant history, will be required to pass important legislation when it comes to immigration reform, improving The Affordable Care Act, increasing the minimum wage, and revising the tax code.
Do we have any reason to expect that the new 114th Congress will work with Obama administration to compromise and pass legislation on these critical issues or any others?
If the partisan grandstanding that has followed the mid-term election, then there is litter reason to be optimistic. This is what happens when partisanship trumps public policy.
Feature photo credit: hrhero.com