The rift between Idahos two congressmen has created some high political drama and interesting reading. Its especially juicy when two members of the same party are duking it out.
As with almost any dispute, no one is entirely right, and that certainly is the case in the recent war of words between Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson.
Labrador is correct in standing by his convictions and staying true to his constituents in Idahos First District. He wasnt elected to cozy up to the House speaker or feather his nest within the institution. Labrador shouldnt vote for House Speaker John Boehner if he doesnt think that Boehner is the right person to lead the Republican Party.
Simpson makes a good point in stating that, at some point, House members have to put aside personal differences and get down to the business of governing. Boehner was the only real candidate for the House speakership and in Simpsons view, Labradors silence was a sign of disrespect.
So lets call this skirmish a draw. What should matter more to Idahoans is the contrasting approaches to dealing with issues, such as the fiscal cliff and raising the debt ceiling. Is it better for members of Congress to stand by their convictions no matter what? Or is it better to find a middle ground? Idahos two House members go on different paths.
On the recent fiscal cliff vote, Labrador was prepared to stand by his convictions even if it meant higher taxes for most Americans. Labrador wants deeper spending cuts and has no interest in compromising his convictions. His bulldog approach apparently sits well with his constituents, given the results of the last election.
Of course, some Democratic members feel the exact opposite from Labrador. Put all that together and you have gridlock something that Simpson tries to avoid. Working with Boehner, Simpson tries to find a middle ground, realizing that gridlock does not put the nation on a stable course.
So who offers the best approach for the state and the nation? Simpsons approach makes more sense to us in the long run. People get sick and tired of Congress taking potentially life-changing financial issues down to the last minute of the last day.
People want gridlock to end. That can only happen by finding the middle ground.
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