No matter how you feel about the debt ceiling, higher taxes on the “rich”, or even how you tend to vote you expect that your elected politician is going to act in your best interest – generally voting what the majority that they represent believe. That is their job, it is an obligation. It has NOTHING to do with politics.
Given that fact, that obligation, you would expect that on a matter so important to the nation – the debt ceiling and Government spending – EVERY politician would have a vote. That vote would be for or against. The vote should be based on the will of the constituents that each politician represented, but in the real world many politicians have more loyalty to their politicl party rather than the voters that elected them. Still, even based on Party lines, there should be no vote that is anything but Aye or Nay.
Yet, yesterday, 8 House Representatives chose to avoid making their vote count. We will excuse Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as we are aware of her medical condition that prevents her vote, but the others (Donald Young [R] – AK, Kathy Castor [D] – FL, Michael Capuano [D] – MA, Keith Ellison [D] – MN, Eliot Engel [D] – NY, Maurice Hinchey [D] – NY, Earl Blumenauer [D] – OR)? They opted to say nothing. An option that is clearly not the view of the public or their Party. Why?
As an example there is Rep. Maurice Hinchey, our representative for the NY 22nd Congressional district. He has held this office since 1993. He is a stunch Democrat, and rarely deviates from Party lines. Yesterday he made no vote on the HR 2560, a bill that directly affect his constituents and their families, like the rest of the nation.
This is an obligation of the position to be elceted to the House of Representatives. This has consequences for decades. This has immediate ramifications. This, by definition, is the sort of vote that is why there is a Congress. Rep. Hinchey just let it pass.
Now we want to be fair, Rep. Hinchey did recently have cancer treatment. But it was the office of Rep. Hinchey itself that announced
So he is well enough to do his job. Which says nothing of the fact that he is today actively promoting a Bill that he co-sponsored. Which leads us to understand that Rep. Hinchey could have made a vote, Aye or Nay.
Is it too much to hold an elected politician accountable for their actions? Is it wrong to expect that they fulfill their obligations, at the very least on Bills that affect the nation for decades and are in response to an immediate need?
We aren’t asking Rep. Hinchey, or the other 6 Representatives, to vote a specific way (well maybe to vote the majority views of their constituents over blanket Party line votes). In fact we don’t expect anything more from Rep. Hinchey, or the other 6, than what has been consistent in their voting record. But we do believe that their obligation needs to be fulfilled. At the very least, on matters that are of significance to the nation like this vote is.
Voters did not choose to elect Rep. Hinchey, or any member of Congress, to promote and vote on pet projects, special interest items, and safely assured partisan issues. We elected them to stand up and at the very least vote their core principles. Maybe even read a Bill or two.
We are enraged that members of Congress would shirk their responsibility when the nation is in immenent need. We are sure that they are going to ignore the situation, expecting that voters will forget, or assume a vote was made – likely on Party lines. But if nothing else there will be this record.
One other thing we will note. We ask readers if their Representative (Donald Young [R] – AK, Kathy Castor [D] – FL, Michael Capuano [D] – MA, Keith Ellison [D] – MN, Eliot Engel [D] – NY, Earl Blumenauer [D] – OR) has acted as Rep. Maurice Hinchey has in regard to the debt ceiling. Have you tried to ask your Representative about their actions and talks on the debt ceiling? Have they failed to answer you, essentially ignoring you and the issue?
We wonder, what would happen if voters treated the above Representatives in the same manner as they appear to be treating their constituents. What if we ignored their requests for funding? What if we decided not to vote when they plead for re-election and ignore mentioning their failure to live up to the obligations they were elected to abide by? Or are they that sure that the public will forget and/or not care how they do their jobs?
We still look forward to Rep. Maurice Hinchey answering our questions on the debt ceiling. We still would enjoy a response on why Rep. Hinchey chose to ignore his obligation on HR 2560. We are still willing to provide his response VERBATIM, and interview him at his conveinience on this or any matter. We extend that offer to any of the Representatives named in this article, even though they are not our Representative.
Again, we will state that this is not about what vote would have been made. This is not about Party politics. It is simply about accountability for a job they actively requested and the obligation that goes with it. We ask these elected officials to do no more than what the public is expected to do at their jobs every day – live up to their obligations. The very least they can do is to do their jobs when it matters.
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