Congress Is A Historical Landmark For This Country Essay

Congress Is A Historical Landmark For This Country Essay

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Congress has always been a historical landmark for this country. Today, Congress is making history even now, but maybe not the history they would like to see. Congress is at a historical approval rate. Never before has congresses’ approval ratings been so low. Not only have there approval ratings dropped, the days they actually work has as well. While members of Congress claim that these cut days are “district work periods,” often times these periods are spent on campaigning or doing little real work for society. They leave for long nights and weekends to the staff members. “For their lack of effort, federal lawmakers are afforded a very comfortable paycheck of $174,000 per year — or $3,346 per week, plus full benefits, and if you are Speaker of the House, that amount increases to $223,500 — or $4,298 per week,” (Fuller, Washington Post). The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average median household income for a worker with full-time employment was $776 per week during the second quarter of 2013. Historically, Congress received a daily per diem for the first 65 years of our country’s existence, paid only for the days when they were in session, except for a 16 month period beginning in December 1815 when they were paid a salary for the first time, (Fuller, Washington Post).
The problem with congress is only twice in history have they taken a pay cut. Congress took a pay cut in 1874 in response to the “Long Depression” and then a series of cuts from 1932-1934 in response to the “Great Depression.” (Dowlin, Huffington Post). Congress is indeed not popular amongst the American public, or good reason. Another fact that the American society does not find in its favor congress enacted was the passing of a $1.1 trillion spending bil...

... middle of paper ...

...ore there approval will be negative.
I think a good way to change some things congress do would be a new restriction in passing legislature, “No budget equals no pay”.This proposal would provide some personal incentive for senators and representatives do to pass a budget on time. Congress has passed a budget on time only four times since 1952 and, for the past decade and a half, annual budgets have been an average of four months late (Georgetown University). We need to apply some reasonable pressure to focus Congress ' collective mind. No Budget, No Pay is a good place to start. Another change I believe would be beneficial to congress is a Filibuster Reform Act. It seems the only reasons Congress has used the Filibuster is a way to block legislation. Overall I believe these changes will help improve Congress and raise their public approval rating and productivity.

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