January 3, 2017 marked the start of The United States’ 115th Congress.
- 11/100 Senators have served more than 20 years. Shout out to Patrick Leahy elected in 1975 and Orrin Hatch in 1977.
- 60/435 Representatives have served more than 20 years. Throw back to when Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis got elected in 1987… and never left… like so many others.
71 of our 435 Congressional representatives have been in that legislative body for more than 20 years. This is not a majority, but it may cause one to ponder career politicians.
It is cliché to call politicians liars, selfish, or self-aggrandizing. However, it is a logical conclusion that people seek job security and to protect/grow their wealth and power. Sticky situations often arise when politicians do this.
Politicians give politics a bad name when they turn on their voters for new constituents or when they are backed by special interests that do not have the public’s interest at mind.
It is a bit idealistic and maybe foolish to wish that we return to the model we had 200 years ago. But, the idea that Congress members should have other common jobs (farming, law practices, education, etc.) and then occasionally travel to DC to make laws to better their communities is a nice thought. This original system does highlight what public service means.
How can we force lawmakers to be more active on our behalf?
- Term limits
- Campaign finance reform
- Lobbying reform (LINK)
What are your thoughts?