Editorial: State’s delegation must move beyond congressional gridlock
Washington’s newly configured congressional delegation, including three new Democrats, must work to break the habit of partisan gridlock.
Seattle Times Editorial
President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner are jostling publicly over their approaches to avoid a key deficit-reduction deadline on Dec. 31. Meanwhile, members of Washington’s newly configured delegation should resolve to do their parts to move beyond the partisan gridlock that has stymied Congress.
U.S. Rep.-elect Denny Heck, an Olympian who will represent Washington state’s new 10th Congressional District, ran a campaign on moving past the logjams and brinkmanship that has come to characterize the House of Representatives.
Expectations are high for the delegation’s other Democratic newcomers — Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor in the 6th District and Suzan DelBene of Medina in the 1st District. With little public record of service, DelBene must show she is as bipartisan and moderate as she suggested during her campaign.
U.S. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican from Spokane, is expected to continue her rise in caucus leadership. The GOP’s highest-ranking woman in the U.S. House is in a position to make a difference.
Each member of the House delegation of six Democrats and four Republicans must do what they can to avert a looming economic crisis of scheduled tax increases and automatic spending cuts at the end of the year. Tackling the deficit and reining in spending are key to a deal.
What’s at stake is framed in alarming detail by a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. If Congress fails to reach an agreement, the country could slip into a recession under the economic whammies of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and deep reductions in military spending and domestic programs. Unemployment could rise sharply.
The answer is not, as inflexible Republicans and Democrats would have it, to continue to resist increasing any taxes and avoiding tackling any entitlement programs.
Time for both sides of the political aisle to meet in the center.
Information in this article, originally published Nov., 12 , 2012, was corrected Nov. 13, 2012. A previous version of this story misidentified the congressional district of U.S. Rep.-elect Derek Kilmer. He will represent the 6th District.