The Washington Times - December 16, 2013, 07:16AM

Rep. Elijah Cummings said Monday that opinions of Congress have gotten so poor that everyone expects applause “when we do what we’re supposed to do — compromise.”

Mr. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, bemoaned the state of income inequality in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying it is not enough to seek common ground in the budget deal reached by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, and his Senate counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat.

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Rather, he said, Congress needs to seek “higher ground.” He said too many people in the middle and low classes are “falling off the cliff” while income disparities grow.

“They can’t pay for college for their kids,” he said. “They can’t make ends meet, they can’t do a lot of things.”

The House passed the Ryan-Murray budget deal last week, and the Senate is set to vote on in the coming days.

Mr. Cummings suggested that President Obama launch a campaign to deal with income equality, comparing it to his long-shot presidential bid in 2008 that turned into a historical victory.

“He has to run a campaign for people who are being left out,” Mr. Cummings said.