There are a couple ways to look at Rep. Raul Labrador’s “rescue” of a bunch of Nampa students who thought they were going to miss out on a tour of Washington D.C. last week when they were in town.
The government had been shut down for 24 hours and, yes, Labrador, R-Idaho, stepped in and took the kids on a whirlwind three-hour tour of the Capitol, the Library of Congress and filing by to shake hands with Speaker of the House John Boehner. Those amazing experiences would otherwise have been off limits due to the shutdown. Labrador even took them to lunch.
The other way to look at this is that Labrador and a number of his House Republican colleagues bear some responsibility for the shutdown because they cling to a stance on the passed-into-law Affordable Care Act (the ACA should be defunded, delayed or repealed). That position was rejected by the Senate and President Barack Obama.
No matter which partisan perspective you choose, it is THE issue that shut the government down.
Even though we know Republicans have stacked an argument on the other side of that, we hope Labrador and his staff were forthright enough to spell that out to the kids. We also hope the visiting students got to see and document what government gridlock looks like up close.
It is not pretty. The dug-in anti-ACA exercise can’t end well.
In a column Tuesday, I take Congress to task and make a suggestion: the two-year terms of the House lead to many Members running too often and too intensely to ever get anything done. In fact, the life of many Members of the House — unless they occupy a “safe seat” — is a perpetual campaign.
It’s time to consider a longer term, at least a four-year term. Though I am not sold on the idea of term limits, there ought to be term objectives for the four year term. Fail and you don’t run again.
Every Member of the House will tell you that little, if anything gets done during an election year — and we’re just about to enter another.
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has been focusing on his Republican primary opponent and fundraising for months. It hasn’t even been a year since his last election.
That system frustrates getting anything done — or getting along with the colleagues on the other side of the aisle. It needs to change.