, Muskogee, OK

December 23, 2013

Congress did its job ... finally

— Congress decided to do its job last week.

It is about time.

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says, in part:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

“To borrow money on the credit of the United States.”

Congress has been gridlocked and it shut the government down for a period this fall.

It is good to see that the adults in the room have finally stepped up to do their job.

The Associated Press reported the legislation passed the Senate with a 64-36 vote, six days after clearing the House by a 332-94 margin.

Bipartisanship is encouraging, especially when it comes to budget bills.

This is your job, senators and members of Congress. Good to see you doing it. Keep it up.

Compromise is essential to running the government in a democracy.

Our system of government is designed to fragment power, so that no one segment can seize control. The separation of powers keeps one branch of government from being too powerful. Each branch provides a check on the power of the others.

But our system of government cannot operate if one branch refuses to perform its function. Members of Congress should not insist on ideological purity in budget measures but should seek compromise to keep government working.

We need statesmen who are willing to reach across the aisle to keep the United States working.