Most people understand the need to move on from failures. Rather than endlessly rehashing an adverse result or wasting the time and emotional trauma of endless debate, we accept our fate and move forward with our lives. Unfortunately, our elected officials do not move on. Instead, to our utter frustration, they go nowhere.
Since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has refused to move on. In the three-and-a-half years since Obamacare became law, the Republican-controlled House has passed 44 bills to repeal or defund Obamacare in an effort to undo what had been agreed through our Democratic process. During this same period, Congress, with the combined wisdom of Democrats and Republicans has failed to address the deficit, debt ceiling and Immigration issues, which Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents and elected officials all recognize as urgent issues that must be addressed.
This comes on the heels of our nation facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
There is, however, a distinction in the way Congress addressed the financial crisis compared to these other major issues. Congress — while fighting and bickering as always — took affirmative action in addressing the financial crisis, as did the Obama Administration. Mistakes were made, results were often disappointing, but the overall consensus is that progress has been made. Given the dire straits we faced, our lawmakers recognized they had to “move on” and take action, adjusting it and tweaking it along the way in order to find a path. Can you imagine if the House and Senate were still debating aid to the auto industry or the bailout of the banks? As controversial as these issues were — we “moved on” and adjusted as we went. Today, however, whether it is Obamacare (which is already the law), or immigration, deficit reduction or the debt ceiling, we are all forced to listen and watch our elected officials make the same meaningless statements to the media day in and day out.
I understand the Republicans that are upset by Obamacare — they have the right to be. But it’s time to man up and move on. Our nation is going nowhere — and that is a formula for disaster.
We elected our officials to adhere to a higher standard of responsibility in discharging their responsibilities. Going nowhere is simply not an option.
Ken Gross is an attorney with Thav Gross and host of The Financial Crisis Talk Center show on WDFN 1130 AM.