Congress's approval rating hovers around 10 percent, a surprisingly high number as there does not appear to be any reason anyone should approve of anything.
The Founders deliberately made it challenging for one set of interests to dominate. Thus, delay, frustration and inaction are built into the system. One doubts, however, the Founders expected this degree of dysfunction.
More importantly than the Founders, the American people are disgusted with it.
One way perhaps to make the system a bit more productive would be a "concordat" between Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that provided that any bill passed by the House would be voted upon without amendment by the Senate, and any bill passed by the Senate would be voted upon similarly by the House.
Each chamber may, of course, reject the other's bills. After the vote, each chamber could decide whether to allow amendments and whether to bring the amended versions to a vote.
But, at least each chamber's work product would get a vote. If the House votes to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate would vote on it. If the Senate passed the pay-check equity act, the House would vote on it. [Of course, filibuster reform would be necessary in order for this to work].
Sure, there could be a lot of stunts, with the House passing some bill they want to force Senate Democrats to vote upon, and conversely. That the other side can do the same thing, however, may temper the more mischievous ambitions.
There is, of course, no guarantee that the dysfunction would improve.
But, it cannot get worse. The "Concordat" is worth a try.
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