Congress has a full agenda with large issues including the Farm Bill, a federal debt ceiling and immigration reform waiting for their decisions when they return from recess. With the U.S. House at a standstill on many issues, lawmakers say not a lot is getting done on Capitol Hill, but different parties does not mean there has to be a gridlock.
Midwest Lawmakers comment on standstill in Congress
Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder recently talked about the differences in Congress and what has led up to the standoff between parties. “The years we did the best frankly, you had a Democratic President and Republican House and Senate in the 90s,” said Yoder. “You had four years of a balanced budget. So sometimes when you have bipartisanship you have one party running one branch and another the other, you actually get the best legislation.” Yoder also commented that a gridlock produces incremental changes but there is still more needed to fix the country’s problems.
Missouri’s Democratic Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver also appeared on the show and gave his thoughts on the stall happening on Capitol Hill. Cleaver believes that this is an important time to act on key issues that already have awareness and public support. For issues such as immigration reform, it may take years to change if lawmakers do not act now. “Depending on who the next presidential candidates are and how that issue is debated in the next presidential election will determine when it comes up,” said Cleaver. “This would be losing a pretty big chance of getting something through.”
Uncertainty over one solution to nation’s immigration mess
The lawmakers may not agree on every part of the immigration bill or what steps should be taken to solve the nation’s problems, but they do have their own opinions on what should be done. Yoder opposes the Senate bill with concerns about border security and the need to beef it up in certain areas more than others. “We also need a good visa entry/exit program. Forty percent of the folks who are here have overstayed visas. Part of that is we don’t know when people leave,” said Yoder. “There’s no way to tell when they depart, so they stay longer so that’s important.” Yoder hopes Congress will have more time to work on the proposals for the bill. Congress will return to D.C. in a month and negotiations over the issues will resume once again.
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