SInce Newt Gingritchs contract with America, the entire Republican Party has shifted t the right, and bocked everything just for the bants. They be all like, yo, lets block dis fo da bants, den when Barry O tries to pass summin like PPAC (Obamzcare) or even apoint a judge them republicans are like nah and ether vote against it or flibuster the ish outta dat
Gone are the days when congress can work with the presidency, Clinton had the same same situation as Obama currently does. A split government with a Republican controlled congress and a Democrat controlled white house. The only difference was in the 90s the parties weren't so ideologically divided and therefore could work together. Now in 2015 the parties are so ideologically divided that they are divided within themselves and are completely unable to exhibit bi-partisan co-operation.
If Congress were not the broken branch and legislation was able to be passed through, then why would Obama have to use executive orders, many of them, just to push his policies through government. Congress are so ineffective that things just cannot be done and unfortunately it is the downside of the constitution that doesn't allow our government to become flexible. The founding fathers could not envisage the party mechanism becoming as big as it has. Therefore that is why Congress is and will remain for a long time to come the broken branch of US Government.
When a minority within congress can take action, or rather not take action, that results in the government shutting down, clearly they have too much power. Regardless of their intentions, it does not seem right that congress has the power to create new laws and at the same time manage the money that upholds those laws. Funding the government is too simple and at the same time too complex an issue to be decided by ~500 people with vastly different experience and opinions.
The congress has lost the ability to truly represent the people. Congressional politicians spend their careers fundraising and campaigning. Many enter the halls of congress with the most pure of intentions but are then corrupted by those very halls.
The careers of congressional members are short if they do not find ways to pass new legislation and keep their faces in the spotlight. They also have to raise large sums of money. When you combine these two previously mentioned factors you end up with political decisions that are not based right or wrong. Instead the decision is based on the effect it will have in the next election.
I do not believe the branch of congress is broken, it is however diseased. Our voting public has allowed and voted in many stagnant members that chose not to listen to their people. Now that we've realized the problem we need to efficiently remove these withered leaves from the branch so we can make sure that it isn't broken. Elected people that make a difference, not the ones that raise the most campaign money.
While Congress itself admits it is "sick," they are trying to fix it, after recent committees were created to reform it. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has shown that Congress is broken by saying "politically charged issues should not be made by 9 unelected judges from a narrow legal background that Congress cannot." Yes it is easy to say that as the 112th Congress was the most legislatively futile on record gaining 330 on the futility index, it could be suggested, and has been suggested that they are just fulfilling the functions given to them in the constitution
Congress is heading towards becoming broken but is not broken right now. There are ways it operates that need to be improved in order to help it. Unfortunately, rather than doing what is best for the country, politics and party affiliation seem to dominate Congress and the decisions it makes.
This recession is difficult on a lot of people and because it is many are looking to Washington for answers. This makes congress appear broken but it has always worked this way. The two parties arguing, negotiating, and compromising, preventing any one side from running away with power--that is American government.
Everyone seems to love the idea of a dictatorship, they just want the dictator to fix all the problems without spending any of their money. Powers are separated by the constitution to cause inaction, because the framer's felt that an active government would be much more dangerous than one that had to fight to come to a consensus through compromise. Before you complain about congressional inaction stop to think how you would like it if the politicians in this country could get whatever they wanted pushed through into law. Have you heard some of these people speak? They have no special skills or abilities at running the country, all they have are massive egos and the ability to get elected. Gridlock is the only thing protecting us.