McConnell's antidote for Senate wars: "Simple give and take"

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 13, 2014 

 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, frustrated in recent weeks as Democrats have wielded unusual power, Monday urged more dialogue and cooperation--"simple give and take," he called it.

"Senate Democrats once again have a leader in Sen. Harry Reid who seems to think the right of all states’ representatives in the Senate to be heard is optional," the Kentucky Republican said in an article he wrote for Politico Magazine.

"The result has been greater acrimony between the two parties and a tendency of the majority Democrats to push for partisan legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act, that only guarantees greater instability in our laws."

McConnell then offered his antidotes. In a nutshell, he said:

"The way you reach consensus in the Senate is no different than the way you reach it in a family or a marriage or a friendship: through simple give and take.

 

"Restoring the committee process, allowing senators to speak through an open amendment process, extending the workweek — these are just a few things the Senate could and should do differently. None of them would guarantee an end to partisan rancor. None of it would cause us to change our principles or our views about what’s right and what’s wrong for our country.

"But partisanship itself has never been the problem. The real problem has been a growing lack of confidence in the Senate’s ability to mediate the tensions and disputes we have always had in the United States.

"Ultimately, both parties have to assume some level of blame for the state of the Senate. But we can’t be content to leave it at that."

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