Shutdown sign of GOP failure to do job


While I generally consider Mr. Keisling's columns to be of little or no positive value in a rational discussion of politics or contemporary controversies, last week's column ("GOP victorious in ending shutdown," Nov. 22) did, at least, make his modest intellect and profound lack of maturity more obvious. What Keisling fails to mention in his adolescent crowing is that his cherished GOP majority in Congress has failed miserably in doing its job.

Why did the federal government have to shut down? It is hardly Clinton's fault, as it is the job of Congress to draft budget legislation and deliver it to the President for his signature or veto. Why was this not done in a timely manner? These bills should have been delivered to the President in July or August, or at least September. That would have provided the necessary time for the legislative process to take place without a shutdown. This did not happen because the legislation was not delivered to Clinton. This is clearly the responsibility of Congress. The failure of Congress and the GOP majority to live up to their responsibilities is not something which can be blamed on Clinton or the Democrats in Congress. This basic failure to perform does not seem to me to be an achievement in which one should feel pride, but then, I am not a Republican (nor am I a Democrat or a member of any organized political party).

When examined without the bias of blind political favoritism and a modicum of intelligence, the current actions of the GOP majority in Congress might be viewed as an attempt to circumvent the constitutional process. Clinton should not negotiate with Dole or Gingrich. Rather, the GOP majority should complete the drafting of their legislative agenda and send it to the President. He should then veto the bills he feels are not beneficial to the country. It is then up to Congress to either override his veto (if they can find the votes) or to negotiate with their colleagues in Congress to draft a bill which has a broad enough base of support to override a presidential veto. That is what the GOP majority in Congress should have been doing since their installation. That is what the GOP majority in Congress has so far failed to do.

I suggest it is time for the GOP majority in Congress to stop engaging in grandstanding, whining and playing meaningless games of political chicken and get to work. Perhaps, after accomplishing some meaningful work, Dole and Gingrich will be allowed to leave through the front door.

Robert J. Frye

Soil, Water and Environmental Science Associate Professor

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