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Letter to the Editor: Senate rules block Trump's agenda

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

I personally think most of government should be shut down, permanently; but what a theatrical scene it was watching a dysfunctional Congress (Democrat and Republican) shut down the government Jan. 19.

Senators of both parties broke ranks on the bill.

Five Democrats sided with the majority of Republicans to vote for the Continuing Resolution short term spending bill. Their vote was contrary to their beliefs, but they needed that vote on record to get elected come November. It was all a charade.

The minority leader U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, was holding our national security hostage because DACA illegals are higher on the Democratic priority list than American citizens.

Republicans Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake are known for putting illegal immigrants ahead of Americans citizens, so no surprise there.

Republican Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted on their principles, how refreshing to see in Congress.

The question is why did they have to pass a Continuing Resolution?

The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires the president to submit the budget to Congress for each fiscal year, which is the 12-month period beginning on Oct. 1 and ending on Sept. 30 of the next calendar year. President Trump did his job and presented his budget.

But since our country is divided down the middle, it is impossible, at this point in time, to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass any legislation.

Back in 2013, Democrats, who at the time controlled the Senate, were so frustrated by the slow pace of confirmation of then-President Obama’s nominees that they pulled the trigger on what was known as the “nuclear option.” This essentially changed the rules in the Senate and busted the 60-vote threshold down to a simple majority of 51 votes for presidential nominees only.

It might be better to require 60 votes unless it keeps Congress from doing its work. I think our lawmakers have hidden behind not having enough votes for too long. When Congress cannot pass the agenda our president ran on, it might be time for a simple majority vote. Let the American people know where their representatives stand on every issue.

The 60-vote threshold is blocking President Trump’s nominees and a budget. I do not understand why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not move to get the President’s agenda and nominees passed.

Call your U.S. senators today!

JULIA MANNING

Spring Hope

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