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CONGRESS: Members’ focus is on fundraising, not on legislating

Letter by Michael O'Connor, Gig Harbor on Dec. 19, 2013 at 9:56 am with No Comments »
December 19, 2013 10:57 am

Re: “Senate’s sluggish session nears end” (TNT, 12-16).

This article highlights what may be the biggest problem with American democracy: a lack of democracy. Congress worked the fewest hours since recording of such information began in 2001, failing to pass bills on some very important national problems.

Members of Congress apparently did do a lot of work meeting “the demands of their packed political fundraising schedules.” I would guess that they probably do more work year after year raising funds to get themselves re-elected than they do for the people who elect them.

While a lot of money comes from individual citizens, a ton of cash comes in from businesses and groups looking for “special handling” for their bottom-line profit. And, after all this money comes in and gets used to convince the public that we can’t live without them back in Washington, does anyone doubt who gets the lawmakers’ attention?

My guess is not the average citizen. My guess is the businesses and groups that kick in the re-election campaign money – $1.6 million for a House seat and $10.4 million for a Senate seat.

Until we can find a solution to political fundraising that turns this around, things are not going to get better for the guy in the street.

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