'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland remembers a time two decades ago when things moved quickly in Washington and Democrats and Republicans weren't constantly at each other's throats.
When Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, voted last week to block a Republican attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law, his action on some levels was routine. The vote was straight along party lines, and the GOP effort was viewed largely as a symbolic gesture with little chance of success.
Newly minted Republican lawmakers who stormed state legislatures with vows of fixing the economy and controlling spending also are tackling social issues, such as gun laws and immigration, with minimal Democratic resistance.
President Bush has issued veto threats against 48 bills since Democrats took charge of Congress eight months ago, in stark contrast to the eight such threats all last year when Republicans controlled Capitol Hill.
He said partisan redistricting, polarizing primaries and less time spent talking over issues in Washington, among other factors, have contributed to the toxic climate.
"I think we can be better off than we are today," he said.