Congressional Compromise: The Partisan Stalemate Isn’t True

By Juan Ayala | United States

Most Would Say Congress Doesn’t Work

It would be very easy to say that Congress doesn’t work-sometimes it truly doesn’t. Moreover, it would be easy to infer that members of Congress also don’t work and are tainted with special interests; that’s the easy and ignorant way to look at it. To that effect, when was the last time you saw a story in the news that talked about bipartisan compromise, members working together, and a genuine sense of honesty amongst those in elected office? The answer most would say is very rare. Then, there are those such as myself that are quite deep within domestic politics. I am here to tell you that most members of Congress are trying to do the best they can.

Why It Has Been

In this opinion piece from Fox News, Bruce Mehlman, a former Bush Administration official (and now a partner in a bipartisan lobbying firm) cites reasons that are beyond the partisan surface of cable news. For one, there have been more laws passed in the first two years and no, they aren’t just renaming Post Offices- of the Trump Administration than under Bush and Obama.

These laws include criminal justice reform (The First Step Act), the farm bill (makes the production of hemp legal), reforms in the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Music Modernization Act.

All aforementioned laws have drawn large bipartisan support. This includes the Koch Brothers, Van Jones, and the NAACP all working together to advocate for certain laws. What matters in Congress isn’t those who lobby from the outside, but in my opinion, those who work together on the inside. As progressive Democrats and hard-line conservatives grow in numbers, the focus should be those who pave the way for compromise.

Granted, what exists in the way of all these accomplishments is the circus that goes on in the White House. The controversies, tell-all books, and Mueller investigation are hard to miss, and large distractions.

Compromise exists. Everywhere.

I’ll admit, I am a little biased. I completed three internships on Capitol Hill, one in the Senate under a Democrat, and two for House Republicans. What I saw in Congress was not in any way replicated on cable news. Networks look for fights, partisan bickering, and anything that makes ratings surge. Often, I say the media helped in handing Trump the election because of how often they covered his rallies- he received free attention because networks wouldn’t stop giving him it. There were certainly other factors that contributed, of course. Frankly, I can’t help but agree with many optimists about the state of our union. As always, there is room for improvement, but we are not as divided as those who hunt for ratings make us seem.

For those affected (and directly in) government, there is a reason to cheer. Many moderates within the House and Senate exist, even if they aren’t covered by the popular press. Republican and Democrats alike-want positive change and are willing to work together. Bipartisan action exists, even if it’s not on the front of the Washington Post.


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