One of the most powerful factors in the November 2016 election was the great frustration with the way things were not working in Washington. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both tapped into the great passion that gridlock was not the way our government was supposed to work. So everybody now in DC is talking about trying to work across party lines to get things done. The burden of proof has to be on the Republicans as they obviously have the votes to control what happens. It will all be on the Republican’s shoulders.
To that point I have been thinking about the things that could be suggested that would be great bipartisan issues.
I have thought of a number: infrastructure, veteran benefits, clean renewable energy, and medical research. I am sure there are others. So I wrote my Republican senators a letter urging them to find a compromise on the first item.
Here is what I wrote:
Senator (name removed)
Senate Office Building
Washington, DE 20510
Dear Senator :
I have read recently that the Republicans have proposed a major comprehensive infrastructure proposal.
I have read recently that Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a major comprehensive infrastructure proposal.
I cannot imagine why there cannot be some compromises by both sides to get a major comprehensive infrastructure bill passed.
There are so many advantages for all sides:
There is bound to be enough “pork” in such a bill for all of you to get some.
There would be major jobs for construction corporations.
There would be major jobs for lots of individual workers which Mr. Trump has promised.
There are so many, many needs for repairs, new construction and completions.
The National Parks are in great need of repairs and restoration.
Road, Bridges, Harbors, Subways, small town water systems and sewers need replacement.
If you can give Sanders and the Democrats a share in the proposal, it will still be to the Republicans’ public relations credit. You will be able to point to it and say, “See, we wanted to work together.”
I am sure that with enough projects for each senator you would have no trouble getting enough votes to pass.
I would think that it could be paid for by simply taking two or three of the jets or battleships that the Pentagon has being developed that they no longer want or need and using that money for the projects. Or maybe all the money that will be returned to the United States when Mr. Trump imposes his new policies about U.S. corporations which have money in foreign accounts and do not pay taxes on that money.
I am sure you all can get this infrastructure bill done, and it would be a great victory for the Republicans to have worked across parties to get it done.
I think we need to push Congress to work and to be realistic about what they will do.