Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., steps out of the chamber prior to a vote on ending the partial government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ORG XMIT: DCSA112

I am dismayed at the recent actions, or lack thereof, by the U.S. Senate.

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I was taught that Congress considered proposed legislation. If passed by the House or Senate, it was referred to the other chamber for consideration. That body then voted. If passed with some changes, a committee made up of members of both chambers attempted to reach a compromise. If that process was successful, the bill was sent to the president. He either signed it or vetoed it. We citizens knew where our elected representatives and the president stood.

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That system no longer is working. When our Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader can refuse to allow a vote, something is amiss. How and why did Congress give so much power to one person? I can think of only one reason. I would argue it is to protect the members from having to be on record on many issues with which the special interests and the public may have differing opinions.

Aren’t we entitled to know where our elected officials stand on many the issues of the day? Gun legislation and immigration come to mind. Didn’t we elect these officials to make the hard decisions? Aren’t we entitled to know where they stand? If they don’t have to vote on the issues of the day, we can't.

Glenn Everett

retired district judge