US Congress - A Broken Branch

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  • US Congress - A Broken Branch
    • Yes - It is a Broken Branch
      • Congress cannot get things done!
        • Gridlock has cause the 112th Congress (2011-13) to be the least productive Congress since records began in 1948, only passing 561 bills.
        • In October 2013, House Republicans forced the federal government to shut down partial, demanding that Obama withhold his healthcare law as to save the debt ceiling.
      • Bipartisanship is Dead!
        • The idea of bipartisanship is that it times of divided government, the parties must compromise to be able to govern the USA>
        • Since the Republicans took control of the House in 2011, they have resisted the, at the time, Democratic Senate and President.
          • For example: The Republicans in 2014, sought to resist President Obama's immigration executive order by blackmailing him into cancelling the order in return for federal funding as to prevent another shut down.
      • Safe-seats push parties to the ideological extremes!
        • Redistricting has caused parties to secure safe-seats in states for their parties.
          • The Cook Political Report found that only 20% of seats were competitive in 2013, compared to over a third in 1998.
            • Congress has now become unrepresentative. The democrats lost the House, despite having 1.4 million more votes.
            • Campaigning in safe-seat areas has become difficult and therefore candidates have turned to their ideological extremes. For example: Michelle Bachmann.
      • Polarization is increasing!
        • Obama's voting in the Senate was far liberal and after his victory, the GOP moved strong right.
          • In 2011, the most liberal Republican was more conservative, than the most conservative Democrat!
            • For example: Over the issue of Abortion, 67% of Democrats are Pro-Choice, whereas 69% of Republicans are Pro-Life as of a 2014 poll.
    • No - it isn't a Broken Branch
      • Law Approval of Congress is nothing new!
        • In 2004, Congress had an approval rating of 59% for law-making, so American's seem content with Congress's law-making ability.
          • However, a new poll was taking 10 years later in 2014, which showed a massive decrease of this statistic to only 14%!
      • It does pass a lot of legislation!
        • Congress still passes legislation even in periods of what is considered to be gridlock.
          • For example: 2007-08 the Democrat controlled Congress faced major legislation such as additional funding to Afghanistan and a $200 Billion economic stimlus package despite George Bush as President.
      • It is strong on representation
        • Congress is far more representative when it is a 'divided government' since it is showing that all views are being considered when passing legislation.
          • It is a far better vehicle for representation that the Presidency.
  • No - it isn't a Broken Branch
    • Law Approval of Congress is nothing new!
      • In 2004, Congress had an approval rating of 59% for law-making, so American's seem content with Congress's law-making ability.
        • However, a new poll was taking 10 years later in 2014, which showed a massive decrease of this statistic to only 14%!
    • It does pass a lot of legislation!
      • Congress still passes legislation even in periods of what is considered to be gridlock.
        • For example: 2007-08 the Democrat controlled Congress faced major legislation such as additional funding to Afghanistan and a $200 Billion economic stimlus package despite George Bush as President.
    • It is strong on representation
      • Congress is far more representative when it is a 'divided government' since it is showing that all views are being considered when passing legislation.
        • It is a far better vehicle for representation that the Presidency.

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