What do you feel are the top 3 issues facing Congress today?
• United States
26 Apr 08
Before Congress does anything or tries to face individual issues, the parties need to learn to work together. As long as we have legislators that vote a particular way out of pettiness or just because of the other party, nothing valuable will get done. And while we're at it, we need to get rid of pork barrel spending. Pork barrel projects are basically a legal form of bribery. "I'll vote for this if it has this attached!" The Congress behaves like a bunch of children.
• United States
15 May 08
If this question were asked two years ago, or even ONE year ago I'd say their number one issue should be to get rid of the Bush/Cheney Administration...lol...but it's too late for that now. So I'll get down to the business of trying to answer your question seriously. 1/ Do something about gas prices! We need something done for both the short term and the long term, and we need it soon. People can't afford to put gas in their vehicles to go to work and they can't afford to buy a car that gets better mileage. Summer is coming so heating costs won't be much of an issue for a few months now but winter will be here before we know it and too many people had to choose between heating their homes, eating or getting their medications. 2/ Get to work on stopping all the corporations from sending their jobs overseas. 3/ REALLY put the brakes on pork-barrel spending for once and for all. This will take not only the cooperation of members of both parties but all of their constituents because no pork is good unless it's our pork. Admit it, many if not most of us are guilty of that. We want Congress as a whole to cut spending but we want OUR Representatives and Senators to bring home the bacon to our district and state, don't we? Just choosing three issues is quite a task these days with so many problems facing us but these would be a decent start. Annie
• United States
26 Apr 08
Hello Sisterjinx, First I'd like to welcome you to MyLot. This is a terrific question. I gather that by Congress you mean both The House and The Senate, right? Under that presumption, I will present issues that need be jointly addressed. 1. Congress must deal with our immigration issues. The focus needs to be multi-faceted. A. The fact that Congress approved the funding of the Border fence, though has yet to push for its completion (and in fact, has efforted itself to reverse its original commitment to the enacted law), represents a terrible black-eye on the Congress. 'We The People' spoke as loudly about border security as we have any issue in a very, very long time. Each day that passes, without resolution to 'the will of the people', foments a deep-seeded mistrust of our elected representation. I believe that this is reflected in the approval rating of Congress hovering below 20%. None can argue that securing the border ought to be a top priority, because as porous as it is -- it represents a serious threat to our national security. If Congress would suspend all of its non-essential activity until 'The Will of The People' is honored, then it would go a long way toward restoring The People's trust in our representatives. B. Congress should suspend all federal funding to 'Sanctuary Cities'. These safe havens make the sincere effort to affect reasonable changes to the immigration policy, impossible. Moreover, allowing sanctuary cities to pick and choose which laws they choose to abide by sets a dangerous precedent. C. Once the border is secure, then the sincere effort toward comprehensive immigration reform must be undertaken. Immigration is the life-blood of this nation. Though, illegal immigration is unquestionably a bane to our continued prosperity and sovereign existence. _____________________________________________________ 2. Congress needs to adopt a comprehensive energy plan. This would encompass several areas of focus. A. They should initiate a discussion with 'The People' over the possible ramifications of extracting 'Oil' from the Commodities Market. This is the surest, fastest, and most complete way to reduce the cost of fuel at the pump. While simulataneously giving 'The People' ample opportunity to reallocate their portfolios to include any oil holdings that they individually determine can succeed based only on the viability of the company under the guise of a traditional supply & demand scenario. The Commodities Market is overseen by the Dept. of Agriculture. It's original intent was to create an avenue to safeguard national food stores, relative to the perishability of crop foods. Oil is not perishable. Therefore, it should not be subject to the whims and fancies of hardened 'gamblers' on the Commodities Future's Markets. B. Congress must effort itself, legislatively, to ease the constrictions and restrictions which limit oil extraction and refining capacity within our own territories. We are far too dependent on foreign oil. That dependence equates to a national vulnerability. C. Congress must cease and desist from this 'either/or' mentality. There is no reason why this nation should not be efforting itself toward the development of alternative energy technologies, while simultaneously focusing on the 'here and now' with regard to oil independence. ______________________________________________________ 3. Congress must clean itself up! I am sickened by how far today's Congressional reality has strayed from our Constitutional founding. A. Congress has, over the years, enacted a great many laws that foment corruption from within its sanctioned halls. They have exempted themselves from criminal prosecution for ethics violations, they have exempted themselves from Securities & Exchange Commission regulations pertaining to insider trading, and they have created an arena where only 'internal investigations' review areas of a breach of The People's trust. This establishes an all-emcompassing disincentive to weed out corruption, and results in a wholesale distrust of our elected representatives. I believe that what is necessary is for a venue to be established whereby the Executive, OR an independent Commission of The People can demand a Justice Department Investigation of any members of Congress, where supported evidence of ethical violation are reasonably established. Moreover, any member under investigation should be immediately suspended for the duration of the investigation! This would put the fear of 'The People' into them, and result in a greater respect for 'The People'. As it is now, even if they're caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the worst that can happen is that they would be unelected, or impeached. Though, no criminal penalty exists, and they still get to keep their cushy pensions. For example: Rep. William Jefferson, from Louisiana was not suspended, and remained a functioning member of the House, despite the 90K of bribery and racqueteering monies found in his freezer. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,277774,00.html Diane Feinstein is still a paid, functioning representative of the Senate despite the many millions of dollars that she has funnelled away from the Veterans Services Committee, and into her husband's bank account. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200704/POL20070402a.html And, the examples go on, and on ... B. Last, but certainly not least; the function of Congress needs to be returned to the state and local level. Both for the Senate, and the House. Meaning, that Congressional Rep's should only be in Washington for scheduled power sessions. Where they hammer out the business of the nation, then return to their constituent base. This practice of 3-day work weeks, and the arena of corruption, as manifest by way of all manner of lobbying organizations having unfettered access to our elected -- must stop! Congress has legislated themselves an arena of protected elitism, which stands in direct contradiction to the Founding Father's vision, and the established Founding Documents. C. Congress must address the crippling divisiveness of its function. Doing so must include the extinction of the parliamentary organizational leadership being extracted from the ranks of the elected. Convert the Speaker of the House position from the rank & file, and establish a parliamentary director who is not empowered to vote on legislation. This would prevent the majority party from being able to obfuscate or permanently table minority legislative efforts. It would level the playing field for any legislator, senior or junior, to be able to present bills for an up or down vote! ___________________________________________________________ While I have presented a volume for consideration, there are so many other areas where redress and remedy are necessary. Though, since you've only asked for the top three, here are my three primary areas of focus.