Monday, November 9, 2009

News Flash: Congressman Does His Job

All over the news this morning were stories about Representative Anh Cao, the lone Republican who voted for the Healthcare Bill in the House. His reason for voting in favor of the bill was that a large percentage of his constituency in New Orleans, LA are without health insurance and he felt this is what the voters wanted. Imagine that! It's become so rare that a Representative actually tries to represent what the voters in his congressional district want, that it's big news.

With all the political posturing, back-room strategising, kowtowing to special interests, and trying to embarrass the President, one Republican actually listened to the people who voted for him to represent them in Washington and voted accordingly. I don't actually know the motivations of the other reps. in their voting, but I do know that there has been damn little talk over the last few months about what the voters really want.

Any more that seems to be business as usual in Washington DC. During the campaign season the politicians all pay lip service to the needs of the voters, but once they're back in Congress all they care about is increasing their political power, raising more money, and trying to get reelected. They frequently have an open door to lobbyists or persons with a fist full of money, while voters from their district are lucky to get face time with one of their aides.

Maybe your rep. voted the way you wanted on healthcare, and if you are typical of most of the people in your area, that's great. Still, it's always good to remember that members of the House of Representatives are supposed to represent what their constituents want, not what their party leaders want, not what big corporate donors want, not even what they personally want. So, we all need to keep tally of the way our congress-persons vote and, when possible, note their motivations and if they don't seem to be doing the job we hired them to do, it might be a good idea to remind them that they are never more than two years from the next election are we're all paying close attention. If we all keep track, and use the power of the vote to keep these folks working for us, then a rep. voting for what the constituents want might be business as usual rather than front page news.

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