08/26/2011 12:01 pm ET Updated Oct 26, 2011

A Reply to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

To: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), Senate Appropriations Committee

From: Daniel Hough Jones, citizen, Kirkwood, Mo.

Re: Your recent essay in Politico

The gist of your essay is that Democrats just will not listen to reason. You are reasonable. The president and the rest of the Democrats are not. Look at the abundance of evidence you have assembled in your essay. Those darn Democrats are just stubborn.

My question is this: if you are so reasonable, why do your fellow senators and the folks over in the House not listen to you?

I will tell you why. Under the Constitution, they do not have to! In fact, they do not have to talk to you, look at you or even be in the same room with you.

Democrats and Republicans alike have better things to do, such as talk to cameras and microphones or type on keyboards -- all of them dead artifacts. Why should they bother talking and looking at your face or at one another? They will be paid regardless and have successful careers after they leave Congress.

As a married man who has nine grandchildren and has been voting since 1971, I am tired of these special pleadings back and forth for the benefit of the dead artifacts of the media. I expect the members of Congress, once elected, to face each other and use their heads together to solve problems, not spend taxpayers' time posturing and preening for the media or otherwise engage in special pleadings.

Senator Hutchinson, I am certain you agree with me.

So, how do we change the system? While you are thinking up your alternative solution, here is my idea.

I propose the Kirkwood Amendment. Under certain circumstances, the Kirkwood Amendment would trigger a sequestration of the members of Congress in their legislative chambers continuously and without exception. To see daylight again, the members of Congress would have to amazingly pass a bill by a majority of both chambers that the president would sign, and if he or she vetoed the bill, then both houses would have to override the veto in order to end the sequestration.

Now Senator, I may be completely wrong about this, so you may be able to advise me on this point, but if I were a member of Congress during a sequestration, I would insist that other members of my chamber take my legislative proposals seriously before I would vote to end sequestration. I would insist that people look me in the face, talk to me and use reason to persuade me to their point of view, and I would attempt to do the same.

To see the Kirkwood Amendment go to

That is my proposal. I look forward to reading your alternative.