OUR VIEW: Congress’ failings were fully displayed in 2012This is the problem with excessive partisanship. Too many lawmakers are so deeply rooted in their own ideals — and their party’s beliefs — that they can’t produce any meaningful results.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
It was interesting to see the recent comments made by a Mitchell resident regarding Congress’ struggles to accomplish much during the 112th session.
“I’m so frustrated with this outfit in Washington,” Chris Festvog told The Daily Republic in a story that was published Wednesday. “It’s just baffling to me that they can’t do their job.”
Festvog evidently was frustrated not only with the headline-generating woes associated with Congress, but also with the fact that he couldn’t seem to even leave a message on a recent day at the offices of one of South Dakota’s three congressional delegates.
When he tried the offices of Rep. Kristi Noem, nobody answered and the voice mailboxes apparently were full.
On Monday, nobody fielded calls at Sen. Tim Johnson’s office when The Daily Republic sought a comment.
Festvog’s comments and feelings about the 112th U.S. Congress are not unique. We, too, have spent some time in head-shaking disbelief at the inaction displayed this year by bitterly divided lawmakers.
The year ended with little progress on some of the key issues that affect us here in the northern Great Plains.
The farm bill spent considerable time slogged down in the U.S. House before ultimately being partially extended.
Some House members don’t like certain provisions in the bill, so little has gotten done. Meanwhile, delays are hurting South Dakotans.
A recent story in The Daily Republic mentioned how farm bill delays likely are hindering the Conservation Reserve Program, and numerous national reports talked of a “dairy” cliff that was looming if the bill was allowed to expire.
The United States Postal Service is hemorrhaging money, but Congress doesn’t seem too interested in doing much about it.
Again, legislation has passed through the Senate but is delayed in the House.
And that fiscal cliff that loomed so large as 2012 ended has only been partially dealt with, leaving some aspects postponed for a future fight.
This is the problem with excessive partisanship.
Too many lawmakers are so deeply rooted in their own ideals — and their party’s beliefs — that they can’t produce any meaningful results.
Although we seriously doubt things will change, we hope that the 2013 session of Congress will be different.
Maybe a few lawmakers will see the light and be willing to compromise for the betterment of the country, and maybe they’ll do it before they have a deadline like the fiscal cliff crashing down on them.
And maybe pigs will fly this year, too.