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Friday, October 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — When does Congress become so embarrassed by its laughably low approval ratings that its leaders decide to pass laws to make our country a modestly better place? Is there a plain vanilla agenda that might pass muster across party lines?

If you thought attitudes about Congress couldn’t get any worse, consider the Washington Post/ABC News poll’s finding this week that 51 percent of Americans disapproved of their own House member. This was the first time in the 25 years the poll has been asking the question that a majority disapproved of their representative. Usually, people hate the body as a whole but like their own guy or woman.

Congress in the abstract does fare much worse. The Real Clear Politics average puts approval of the institution at 12.6 percent. And Republicans are especially unpopular: the Post/ABC poll found that while 49 percent of Americans held a favorable view of the Democratic Party, only 35 percent had a favorable view of the GOP.

The conventional take is that Republicans don’t need to be concerned because their supporters vote in larger numbers in midterm elections and the big fights of 2014 are mostly on conservative turf.

But at some point, doesn’t pride kick in? Do Republicans really want to be known as a purely negative party? The GOP’s establishment was pleased that it once again beat back the Tea Party with Senator Pat Roberts’ victory in Tuesday’s Kansas primary. Might this not give the party a little more room to work with Democrats on something?

That’s where the plain vanilla agenda comes in. Yes, the label risks dooming the enterprise. The phrase comes from President Obama — last week, he scolded House Republicans for blocking “even basic, common-sense, plain vanilla legislation” — and many conservatives presume anything associated with Obama is toxic.

Still, it’s an instructive concept to encourage a search for policy ideas that ought not be terribly controversial. To construct such an agenda, I sat down this week with Heather Boushey and Elisabeth Jacobs of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. We put together two lists. The as-plain-as-possible-vanilla list included proposals that already have a lot of Republican support. The ought-to-be-plain-vanilla ideas either once won GOP backing or should have appeal, given other things to which conservatives are committed.

On the first list: extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for single, childless people; a refundable Child Tax Credit; and a big infrastructure bill, perhaps including an Infrastructure Bank.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has already endorsed the expansion of the EITC, which rewards work by boosting the incomes of those who have jobs. The Child Tax Credit is popular in principle among Republicans. Making it refundable ensures that less well-off people who often pay Social Security taxes but not income taxes get help in raising their kids.

On infrastructure, my guide is former Rep. Steve LaTourette, an Ohio Republican who once told me that he left Congress when he realized it couldn’t even pass transportation bills anymore. The inability of Congress to agree on rebuilding our country is a national disgrace.

And here’s the ought-to-be-plain-vanilla list: a minimum-wage increase (many Republicans used to vote for it); pre-kindergarten expansion (many of the most ambitious pre-K programs are in Republican-led states such as Oklahoma and Georgia); paid family leave (financed as an insurance program so employers don’t carry the whole load); and the right not to be fired just for requesting a flexible work schedule.

It shows how hard it is to get even to plain vanilla when you consider that some conservative researchers have questioned the long-term value of pre-K programs and that the House recently voted to extend the Child Tax Credit to somewhat more affluent families while, unconscionably, allowing it to expire eventually for low-income families.

This means our second list has a Democratic feel to it — which is precisely what Republicans should worry about. The GOP talks a great deal about family values, but what, pray, is it willing to do to ease life for parents trying to make a living and do right by their kids at the same time? And do conservatives really think that Georgia and Oklahoma are foolish for investing in the education of the very young?

Congress will stay in the ratings dumpster as long as voters see it as not even trying to meet the country’s basic challenges. If plain vanilla doesn’t do it for you, offer another flavor. But let’s stay away from exotic ideology that clearly leads down a rocky road.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected] Twitter: @EJDionne.

Photo: Caroline’s eye via Flickr

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  • essbird

    I wonder if a 12% approval rating for Congress doesn’t perhaps suit the plutocracy perfectly. If 90% of voters feel like Congress is a literal waste, then how many of them also believe it’s not worth coming out to vote, or even to pay attention to candidates? How many will stay home, especially in those crucial off-cycle elections? However, they know the Christian right, the Tea Party, and the rest of the rabid base will always turn out and always open their wallets. They know they’ll get plenty of campaign dough from the Kochs and their ilk. That means Republicans are less fettered and accountable, more free to do the bidding of their masters? It sure looks like this is so, considering that the more right Congress turns, the less popular it is and the more screwed we are, but there is no bottom in sight.

    • elw

      That is true, but in 2012 all that money they got did not win them the Presidency and if we could get rid of gerrymandering it would work that way on a local basis as well.

      • Aware

        Its Harry Reid thats holding up 535 bills that Congress passed and he is doing it so that you will think its the Repbulicans and not him thats causing all the problems, mission complete! The Koch Brothers contributions is pale as to what what the left gets!

        • elw


          • John Hayes

            Not true, research has shown that gerrymandering was not the reason the republicans won. The democrats being concentrated in urban areas was the primary factor.

          • pitch1934

            When new lines are drawn they are drawn according to general population. How they are then separated is up to the architects. The architects try to crowd as many of one type of voter into a district as possible. The districts do not have to be of any size, as long as they contain the requisite number of voters. This is why you see lightning bolt districts and districts separated by one thin city block.

          • elw

            What research? Not according to the courts, most experts – what other reason should there be for shaping districts like snakes, shoes and other crazy ways other than political gain? Just because you want to believe something does not make it true.

          • oldtack

            Really? Go down to Texas and take a look at how many of the districts have been gerrymandered. If you will check west Texas you will find that neither party is concentrated in urban areas.If you check Dallas, Houston and Austin you will find they are overwhelmingly Republican.

          • latebloomingrandma

            Then why were there more than a million Democratic votes for representatives over the Republican votes, yet the House Republicans “won”? Designing districts to look like Rorschach inkblots is not representative government.

        • dana becker

          Right. You are willfully ignorant of the truth of why those bills are not getting to the floor. They are horrible bills for the American people.

        • ralphkr

          Thank God for Harry Reid keeping the Senate from being mired down with the worthless do no good for the country bills passed by the bought & paid for jackasses in the House. Yes, the Koch Bros contributions do pale in compared to the millions and millions of individuals who are donating $3 to $5 to the Democrats. I have always been intrigued by the letters I get from Republicans DEMANDING that I send them a minimum of $5,000 (although some will settle for only $1,000 starter if I set up automatic monthly payments) while Democrats ask for $3 to $10 donations.

        • oldtack

          Do you have any concept of the content of those Bill? Just get on line and read some of them. Only a damn fool would even consider letting that shit on the floor of the Senate. Go do some reading.

        • Independent1

          Harry is doing nothing different than Boehner. If the bill won’t pass with majority party votes, it doesn’t get on the agenda. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose.

          • Faraday_Cat

            I have to disagree…Boehner is certainly following the “Hastert Rule” (majority of your own party) because there have been plenty of bills sent to the house on a bipartisan vote in the Senate that appeared to also have bipartisan support in the house…but would only pass by simple majority with Democratic help…that Boehner would not bring up (closing background check loopholes for gun purchases was one, I think).
            Ried, on the other hand, has brought some bills to the floor for consideration in violation of the Hastert Rule, I think the main reason for denying most of those bills has been that they might pass because they are good for their stated intention, but include some severe and often unrelated “poison pills” (like mandatory ultrasounds prior to abortion as a rider to, say, a highway infrastructure bill).

          • Independent1

            Since the leader of each house represents the majority party, they (Boehner and Reid) will not bring votes up unless a bill will pass on majority party votes (only votes from the party that each of them represents which is the majority party)- That is the Hastert Rule.

        • Independent1

          By the way, I think you’re mixing up the number of Representatives and Senators in Congress which is 535, with the number of bills that Harry won’t bring up for a vote because they wouldn’t pass purely on Democrat votes (basically exactly what Boehner is doing in the House) which is between 300 & 350 – the number keeps changing.

      • Independent1

        And they actually lost the congressional voting by over one million votes; it was only their gerrymandering efforts that saved the day for them.

        • elw

          but they will deny that until their dying days.

    • plc97477

      Unless of course the repugs continue to talk of impeachment. That is likely to get the dems out in force. Keep it up guys. We love it.

      • dana becker

        There are thousands of reasons to get out to the polls this November and it may just break records. At least that is my hope.

  • Dominick Vila

    Expecting the members of a party that does not even support raising the minimum wage, because it was proposed by a man they love to hate, to support any kind of legislation that may strengthen the economy, create jobs, and improve our standard of living, ignores the reason for the obstructionism and the deliberate opposition to things that would help most Americans. Republicans don’t really oppose the EITC, raising the minimum wage, or anything else. Their objective is to make sure economic stability remains on shaky grounds, job growth is not as robust as it should be, and public uncertainty continues to dominate the political debate in the USA. It is all about electioneering strategies, not what is best for the American people, which means that their actions border on high treason. They are not interested in vanilla legislation because what they would love to deliver to the White House is a heavy dose of cyanide wrapped in elephant skin.

    • Allan Richardson

      Basically, they HATE AMERICAN VOTERS and are punishing ALL OF US for the “crime” of voting for a half-black President TWICE. Until all of us, INCLUDING moderate Republican voters, kick them out, they will continue to punish us. As Rush Limberger said, “I do not want AMERICA to succeed if that means Obama succeeds.”

      • Dominick Vila

        Limbaugh’s comment can be summarized in one word: TREASON!

      • elw

        Even Rush is losing ground in popularity. Are you aware he has been losing paid sponsors and following. It like a slow steady trickle – headed south.

        • dana becker

          We need to remind the sponsors again how we feel about their support of his show. More boycott threats please.

          • elw

            Yes, yea to the collective power of the Consumer. Works every time.

          • dana becker

            gotta try anyway.

      • dana becker

        That reason and the one McConnell stated as their only goal is to make Obama a one term President. If the country went down in ashes that was fine with them even if their finger print was all over the match. You are right about the treason charge and sedition should also be on that warrant.

        They put their party over the people and for that alone they should never hold the reigns of power ever again.

    • highpckts


  • Billie

    51 percent disapprove of their own representative. And yet they will vote along party lines just because he/she belongs to the party they favor.

  • FT66

    Well and good. Polls are in, 51% of Americans disapprove of their own House Member. This poll couldn’t come at the best time. Why, that someone who was polled or wasn’t, has a big role to play in this coming mid-term election. Why should you take your time come Nov. line up and vote again to the same person you think doesn’t do the job you voted him/her to do on your behalf? Here, doesn’t matter whether you are a republican or Dem. If people can think wisely, and want their vote to count and mean something, I expect this coming Nov. the results to surprise many if not the few.

    • Allan Richardson

      If EVERY seat in both houses of Congress switched parties, we would be rid of the Tea Party House, but would have a Republican Senate, which would not be much better than we have now (unless, in some kind of miracle, every new Senate Republican is from the moderate wing, which is extremely unlikely. No what we need to do is replace every REPUBLICAN with a Democrat and replace no Democrats. We have seen over the past three decades (ever since Bedtime for Bonzo took power) that the GENERAL ideas of the Republicans are anti-worker, anti-underdog and pro-bully. But in the past FIVE years we have seen even moderate Republican, once in office, AFRAID to legislate against the WORST ideas in their party. They are no more a group of like-minded but independent thinkers than the old Cold War Communist Party was; they are afraid to drop the party line.

      • FT66

        With me I do not care which Party controls whatever Chamber. What I care is the reasonable, thought through and very functional Congress and as well the Senate. This will help the country to move forward and make well-calculated preparations for future generations.

        • Allan Richardson

          In theory, you are right. But the reality at this time is that most Republicans IN Congress, or likely to win any Republican primary, are the exact opposite of reasonable; they are so afraid of the Tea Party and its back-to-1799 approach to governing that even if they BELIEVE in reasonable solutions, they dare not VOTE for them.

          Democrats are not perfect, but in general, they want to make things better for ALL Americans, not just for a small plutocracy. Even those who are corrupt are corrupt in a way that is less harmful: they still help average Americans when they can, they just take a “commission” for doing so. Republicans, even when being financially honest, vote for policies that HURT most of us (not to mention the planet itself), and if corrupt, they steal even more from us.

          And the polls are not voters saying that 19% and 31% of each party’s OFFICIALS are reasonable; they are saying that 19% of the VOTERS believe that what Republicans want to do IS RIGHT, and 31% say that what Democrats want to do is right.

  • Mark Forsyth

    Sorry,I’m not at all ready to wave the flag for vanilla bi-partisanship.Rocky Road would be more like it. If it doesn’t result in resolving the controversial issues and end with effective,progressive legislation,then what we will get will be flimsy,superficial,and cosmetic.Might just as well piss into the wind.

  • elw

    Anyone who has a crazy uncle/aunt knows that no matter how you try to avoid the things that upsets them, some how they manage to fine a way back to them and ruin what was suppose to be a nice family dinner. The biggest joy in life for the Right is to trip-up the President. They could care less who it hurts, it is what they honest believe they were sent to Washington for. The self-centered Right is incapable of any kind of compromise, I doubt that they even understand what it means. I personally believe our energies are best used in working around them and on voter turn-out to keep their power as weak as you can get it. Eventually, they will do something stupid and crazy enough to turn even the most loyal of followers off enough to keep them home for mid-term, much as they did during President Clintons time in office. One more good place to use energy is in getting rid of gerrymandering – without it there would be no Republican house majority.

  • ExRadioGuy15

    essbird makes a very good point, which is why people can’t be fooled… vote out the GOP, FFS…

  • Stuart

    Republicans want government to fail. They want democracy to fail. Just like late Weimar Germany of the early 1930s. This is the fascist road to power.

    • John Hayes

      We don’t live in a democracy

      • Independent1

        It’s a republican democracy. A pure democracy requires that all those under the government have to vote on every issue. A republican democracy is a democracy with representation.

  • paperpushermj

    ” The conventional take is that Republicans don’t need to be concerned because their supporters vote in larger numbers in midterm elections and the big fights of 2014 are mostly on conservative turf.”
    Where In The World Did Dionne Pull This From? The only question I have for him is is your ignorance willful or by accident? Surly He Must Know the House has over 300+ Bills siting over in the Senate, many passed Unanimously. So if He knew that …what in the World is he writing about?

    • charleo1

      Are you able to name just 5 of the, “many,” House Bills that passed unanimously, Harry Reid is refusing to bring to the floor? As you would know, Speaker Boehner has an immigration bill that was passed with a strong bipartisan majority, in the Senate. It was sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio. (R.FL.) And would pass the House today, on an up or down vote. Yet, he has refused to allow it. One obvious reason is the Republican Party is divided, and has no consensus on immigration. In fact, they agree on so little, their obstruction in this way, has made this particular Congress the least productive in the Nation’s history. The sad reality of it all, is the Speaker would lose his position, if he were to do the right thing for the Country. Instead, he has chosen to do the right thing for himself, and kowtow to the radical, and most extreme members of his Caucus the T-Party minority. The same can be said for a transportation bill, that would not only help businesses, and the economy. But position the U.S. to compete in a global economy against such dynamos as China. Who are investing heavily in infrastructure, and preparing to meet the future, as the fastest growing economy in the World. While the T-Party Republicans make their plans to purify the Party, sue and impeach the President, and dismantle the gov. And can’t agree on exactly what they’ll do after that. The Senate, by the way, will not pass any of that. Nor will they pass a bill repealing, defunding, or declaring any part of The Affordable Care Act, null, and void. Even if the House passed a bill doing so, 5, 50, or 500, or 5000 times.

      • paperpushermj
      • paperpushermj

        and this:

        Here’s the full text of Jenkins’ comments, made at a press conference on July 29, 2014, as the final week of the congressional session was winding down:

        “The president is fond of referring to the House as the ‘do-nothing Congress.’ But we have 352 reasons why it’s a ‘do-Nothing Senate.’

        “352 bills are sitting on Harry Reid’s desk, awaiting action.

        “98 percent of them passed with bipartisan support — Republicans and Democrats working together to pass legislation.

        “50 percent of the bills passed unanimously, with no opposition.

        “70 percent of the bills passed with two-thirds support in the House.

        “And over 55 bills were introduced by Democrats.

        “352 bills. Why won’t Harry Reid act? These are good bills; bills that put the American people back to work, put more money in hardworking Americans pockets, help with education, and skills training. We call upon Harry Reid to get to work before he adjourns in August to pass some of these bills. The American people deserve better.

        • charleo1

          And you believe everything the lying Baggers say?
          I assume the lone article you use to, “prove,” the
          T-Party is non-obstructive, and quotes Lyn Jenkins,
          a lying T-Bag herself, is good enough proof for you
          it’s the Senate all along? And I suppose then, you think it was the Senate that closed the government down? And Wasted an estimated 24 billion trying to extort, and blackmail, what they can’t achieve legislatively. The Senate that threaten the credit worthiness of the U.S. Gov. causing a ratings downgrade? The Senate that’s embarrassing themselves with a nonsensical, and unprecedented lawsuit against the President? Believe whatever pops yur cork. But a bill naming a post office, is not the equivalent of reforming a broken immigration system. Let’s try to keep it real.

          • paperpushermj

            ” Lying Baggers” you say. So much for civil discourse. When you grow up and speak like an Adult we will talk.

          • charleo1

            I’d rather not talk to baggers. First, it’s a waste of
            my time. And secondly, I consider them traitorous

          • paperpushermj

            So your thoughts are : I believe what I believe so don’t confuse me with facts.

          • Independent1

            Fact is that the 98% are bipartisan bills is a blatant lie – because 215 Republicans and 2 democrats in name only voted for a bill DOES NOT MAKE THEM BIPARTISAN. Fact is, not one of those supposed 352 bills is bipartisan. And they’re sitting on Harry’s desk because Harry is running the Senate, exactly as Boehner is running the House – if the bill wouldn’t pass purely on majority party votes, it doesn’t get on the docket.

            Boehner has refused to bring numerous bills up for a vote which would have been truly bipartisan, with over 50% republicans voting on them (like the immigration bill), but because they would not pass purely on Republican votes he won’t bring them up. NONE, absolutely NONE of the bills Reid is sitting on would come even close to passing purely on Democratic votes. It’s called: What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander.

          • paperpushermj

            Your comment.
            ” Fact is, not one of those supposed 352 bills is bipartisan”

            My response
            “50 percent of the bills passed unanimously, with no opposition.”

          • Independent1

            Either a blatant lie (which I suspect), or as I said in my 2nd response, ear marks had been added by Boehner unbeknownst to the Dems with provisions that Reid knows the majority of Senate Democrats would not vote for. Reid IS NOT sitting on more than 100 bills that ALL the Democrats in the House voted on knowing full well everything that was in the bills.

            The Republicans in the House are so devious, that they’ve bastardized every budget bill Obama has submitted by removing all the detail Obama has provided about where the monies he’s asking for are projected to go, presenting instead nothing but a skeleton of just the raw numbers, so that EVERY Democrat would vote against his budgets.

            Sorry, but you are being very misguided about what is going on here. 15 Republicans met the night Obama was inaugurated to do nothing more than plot on how to destroy his presidency which included sabotaging our economy. Boehner is so devious that he would do anything to make things look as bad for Obama and the Dems as he can. And shoving ear marks into bills to purposely make them unpassable by the Senate, is only one of the very minor devious acts he would pull.

          • paperpushermj

            “Blatant lie” you claim. Well this is from the House leadership that’s my source, you think that wrong…based on what?

          • Independent1

            Based on what?? All the House leadership does is distort the truth or tell blatant lies!! And you’re picking up the trait!!!

          • paperpushermj

            Your Final Grade on Political Spin… D-

          • Independent1

            What’s that supposed to mean coming from a total mental retard????

          • paperpushermj

            Not going to follow you into the swamp…have a nice day.

          • Independent1

            Then I’ll just leave you with this: If you’re looking for a motive as to why the GOP would spew lies and distortions 24/7, it’s all to fulfill a pact that was made between 12 GOP legislators and 2 other treasonous GOP types – one being Newt Gingrich. A pact that was made on Obama’s inauguration night before he had a chance to do anything, they plotted on ways to destroy his presidency:

            In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that on inauguration night, 2009, during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

            Draper wrote the guest list included:

            The Guest List:

            Frank Luntz – GOP Minister of Propaganda
            Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
            Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
            Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA),
            Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),
            Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX),
            Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
            Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA),
            Sen. Jim DeMint (SC-R),
            Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ-R),
            Sen. Tom Coburn (OK-R),
            Sen. John Ensign (NV-R) and
            Sen. Bob Corker (TN-R).

            Non-lawmakers present Newt Gingrich – Failed GOP candidate for President

            And Newt Gingrich was kind enough to verify that that meeting had been held:

            Newt Gingrich confirms meeting took place in an interview with Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation on June 12, 2012

            SHARPTON: In fact, let`s go to a book that Mr. Draper wrote about the night of the inauguration. There was a meeting at a hotel near the inaugural ball, about a mile away … He writes about that night the plan was to show united and unyielding opposition to the president`s economic policies …

            And Draper writes that you told the group — you, Newt Gingrich, “You will remember this day…you will remember this day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”

            If there was a commitment from day one, before he ever took a seat behind the desk of the Oval Office, that everyone was going to obstruct
            him, then what he`s done has been almost unbelievable, against those kind
            of odds, Speaker Gingrich.

            NEWT: The first is, it was an important meeting and I was glad and honored to be part of it … I said to Callista when we left the hall — because we were at the Capitol for the inaugural. As we left, I said, you know, if he sticks to the kind of moderation and bipartisanship he`s been describing, he will split the Republican Party. He`ll govern like Eisenhower and he`ll get reelected. Now this is — this is the inaugural day.

            SHARPTON: I`m glad you admit you had it.

          • paperpushermj

            It’s Called the ” OPPOSITION ” something you paint as conspiratorial when it’s from Republicans. Where and when this supposed meeting took place is Irrelevant as gatherings of those out of power where held all over the Country from that day on.
            I would remind you that the Opposition is 47% of Voters.
            The one trait that Progressive have is you fall in line and follow unquestionably. It’s this that has you so upset with Republicans. We question and challenge those in power that you label as Heresy.
            So take your group think and put it somewhere where the Sun doesn’t shine.
            See you in November …drone

          • Independent1

            And why isn’t Jenkins mentioning the hundreds of bills the Senate has passed which Boehner refuses to bring up for a vote even though they would pass on a truly bipartisan basis, with more than 50% of each party voting on them – like the immigration bill. Boehner even admitted it would pass on a bipartisan basis but it wouldn’t get 217 Republican votes so he wouldn’t bring it up.

        • Independent1

          What’s probably missing from all this is that 100% of those bills that got Democratic votes had earmarks slipped in that Democrats weren’t aware of which either provide subsidies to corporations the Dems wouldn’t support in the Senate or cuts to social programs, or some other legislation that Reid knows the Senate Dems wouldn’t vote on.

  • Plain, vanilla, simple, these are all ‘elementary’ concepts far too complex for the right, it must be noted. The ‘evident’ & the ‘obvious’ fly right over their heads as if an Eisensteinian equation! How do we expect that they can do the ‘involved’ & the ‘challenging’ if the simple is so far beyond their ability to even grasp? This is the question in this election year – that is, for the non-conservative voter…

  • ralphkr

    Why should the Republicans give a fig about what the US populace thinks of them. They have their guaranteed seats and the only people who matter to them are still showing their approval by continuing to buy their votes.

  • charles king

    Fear not People just do some big time for real thinking about What? is going on in America. MONIES has taken over our Representives so WE the People
    has to do the job ourselves on choosing the right Reps Who? are doing the right thing for the Country. We know Which? Reps. has the Country’s values to uphold so these are the Reps that we will VOTE for. The VOTE is still SUPREME and it must be protected from States Goveners Who? think otherwise but the People are wise to these clowns, now days. Think People, and VOTE for the return of your Democracy, Of, By,and For All the People Not some but All.

  • Ronald Harris

    It takes ACTION to change the culture in Congress. A couple of ways to change the culture in Congress is for people who don’t usually vote in large numbers in the mid-term elections to do so this year, and for the extremists Republicans to lose some seats to either Democrats or more main stream Republicans who are willing to work on solutions. Then one of the things that make Republican representatives in both houses arrogant is the fact of the gerrymandering that has gone on for so long. They put in voter suppression laws to restrict voting of people who they believe or know doesn’t favor their political leanings. Which is hypocritical because they say they wanted the voter ID laws to prevent voter fraud, of which none if fact exist (something like 1/100 of 1 percent) enough to effect election outcomes. Yet they support gerrymandering that is fraudulent on its face because it restricts people in a given area from having a vote for representatives that will affect the areas they live in. Instead of blocked districts that make it easier to visualize and know, they have carved out meandering, winding, and twisted voting districts which is NOT representative of the people who really live in those areas. That IS voter fraud They are dishonest hypocrites that need to be called out on every hand. That is how you change the culture in Congress.