Don't Obamacare-obsessed Republicans have better things to do?
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The days of House Speakers Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Sam Rayburn, John McCormack and Carl Albert are gone. Poor John Boehner is a House speaker by title only. He is, metaphorically speaking, an empty suit trying to hold on to his title and its fancy perks. Appease 40 of the 233 Republican members who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and if you don’t, you’re out of a job. You don’t have to be a student of government to realize that at least the House of Representatives is paralyzed.
Are there other issues that our elected federal officials should focus on instead of repealing health care for 30 million Americans? There are plenty. After the horrendous killing of a group of employees at the Washington Naval Yard, questions should be raised about the lack of security at federal facilities. America is making great strides toward becoming energy-independent, no longer reliant on Arab oil. How do we accelerate that effort, and how quickly can we do it? How do we make college more affordable for students drowning in debt?
The list of unfinished business in Washington is longer than you can imagine. Our economy is still in need of help from Congress. Our bridges and roads are in disrepair. There is a growing gap between rich and poor in this country, and nothing is being done to address it. Our college graduates are struggling to find jobs and begin meaningful careers. These issues are a lot more important than the battle by a few Tea Party zealots to repeal a health care program that is the law of the land.
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.