Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: senate


GOP: Republicans aren’t heeding constituents

I just heard Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell declare that the Senate is broken and if Republicans win this year, he will fix it. Unbelievable!

This is the Senate Republican leader who has sponsored almost as many filibusters in four-plus years as have been done in the previous history of the country. I’d offer that as evidence of Senate wreckage. Beyond that, he stated that the Democrats are offering poll-tested ideas, as if this is weak leadership.

If Senate leaders are offering what the people would like to see, they are doing the will of the people. Republicans seem to

Read more »


BUDGET: Senators need to do their job

Management of government is no different than a family or business. If you spend money without any plan, the result will be bankruptcy. Our federal government has no plan.

One of the job requirements for the Senate is to pass a budget every year. It has not passed a budget for nearly four years. Why are the senators still being paid their salary?

Our country is in trouble due to irresponsible spending. All efforts of the conservatives are rebuffed, ignored and ridiculed. The first bill passed by the Senate for Hurricane Sandy aid included money for fisheries in Alaska, free

Read more »


GOP: Obstinance costing U.S. its credibility

On Tuesday, the Senate fell short of the two-thirds vote required to ratify a United Nations treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All the votes against were Republican.

The treaty requires no change to U.S. law, and is patterned after the standards in the Americans With Disabilities Act. It would be a non-binding international standard.

I cannot understand the current thinking of the far right senators who voted against this treaty signed by President Bush. Does this signal a growing isolationism, a disregard of the status of people with disabilities, or what? Was this just another

Read more »


ELECTION: House Republicans need to compromise

John Boehner took no time in doubling down on his party’s big loss yesterday, suggesting that the vote for a Republican House was a mandate for their policies. This is nothing but self-serving sophistry.

In reality, the vote is a commentary on the corrosive and disgraceful gerrymandering used by both parties. This undemocratic charade pushes moderates and centrists out of the political process, and has resulted in today’s bitter and toxic partisan polarization and its attendant gridlock.

Our nation has enormous challenges before it, and if the Republican House’s only response is continued obstruction and the refusal to compromise, it

Read more »


JUDICIARY: Vacancies shouldn’t wait on election

Re: “Federal court vacancies will likely wait on the election”  (www.thenewstribune.com, 9-6).

Despite this report, the Senate may very well confirm delayed consensus nominees this month.

There is still plenty of time. For example, on Sept. 26, 2008, the Democratic Senate confirmed 10 U.S. District Court judge appointments by President George W. Bush.

The Judiciary Committee approved 18 currently pending District Court nominees with support from every Republican and Democratic home-state senator.

Judiciary Committee Republicans supported 17 of these nominees. Twelve would reduce U.S. courts-declared judicial emergency vacancies that delay and deny justice.

Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania

Read more »


CONGRESS: Is it time for Senate term limits?

Shortly after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, Congress amended the Constitution to put a two-term limit on the presidency. This was to prevent the complete consolidation of executive power which FDR had possessed.

It was a good idea then and it’s still a good idea today. If you look over the roster of the U.S. Senate, there are several long-serving senators on both sides of the aisle. For example, Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has served since 1963; John Kerry, D-Mass., since 1985; and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, since 1977. Several senators in the past have made a career out

Read more »


CONGRESS: Someone slept during civics class

The letter writer (TNT, 12-28) proposing we throw all of Congress out and begging for eight-year term limits must have been dozing during his high school civics class.

Senate terms are six years each, so eight-year limits would be tricky. Besides, we do have term limits; they’re called elections.

I do not want this sleepy student telling me who I can and cannot vote in for Congress. Should we, for example, throw out Sen. Patty Murray, who has gone to the mat on behalf of disabled veterans?


SENATE: Reform rules as a small first step

Re: “Young Democrats challenge Senate traditions” (TNT, 11-15).

It’s about time somebody finally saw the decrepit Senate procedures for the problem they really are. Congress is one of our democracy’s adaptive mechanisms. It’s how a democracy changes to respond to new challenges and opportunities. When it breaks down, democracy cannot adapt. Darwin tells us what happens to those who cannot adapt quickly in a changing world.

The real problem is not that our country is going broke and that our economy is mismanaged. Those are just symptoms of the underlying problem. The world is changing fast, and American democracy cannot

Read more »