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Let’s pay for performance


Congress as a whole is broken, America’s executive branch is dysfunctional and we Americans are forced to do nothing more than watch, and react as if we are watching some kind of reality show.

Why is this break without actually conducting important business significant? It’s very significant because things are happening right now. Issues are turning into crisis levels right now. Bickering between parties, blaming each other and a president threatening to execute “executive privilege” as all the time is growing old.

Right now, we are facing a humanitarian crisis where tens of thousands of children are crossing the U.S. border from Central American. They are crossing and be apprehended by Border Patrol and eventually having to be bussed and flown throughout the country because Texas and Arizona cannot house all of them.

The president asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funds. As usual, Democrats seem willing to follow along. As usual, Republicans lay blame and say they will not allow it. As usual, compromise is not a possibility, and the crisis will grow.

While I agree with some of the Democrats who wanted to know exactly how the president would be spending the money, I disagree with Republicans who simply say no and that’s all there is to it.

I agree with Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. creating a bill that will reverse a bad 2008 bill that is slowing progress to process these children. I disagree with the fact that the bill will go nowhere.

Then, we have what House Republicans deem a priority – suing the president over the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHCA). Our lawmakers have become quite the litigious group. Arizona’s governor and state lawmakers are proof of that. Any time something doesn’t go your way in the actual Democratic process created for a reason, the automatic response is to file a lawsuit.

Now, we have Republicans thinking it’s more important to continue fighting AHCA more than they are working to take care of this country’s most pressing business.

AHCA passed, attempts to eradicate it have failed multiple times. While other groups are fighting portions of AHCA and the results have been mixed for both sides to date, Congress should not be suing the president, or continuing this battle.

Then, we have the current VA crisis. Veterans are dying before receiving care, administrators were receiving bonuses for basically allowing them to die before receiving treatment and since the lid was blown off, Congress has not actually passed a bill to effectively fix the problem.

There is some speculation that the two sides have come to a compromise that might result in a vote before the end of the week, but there are no guarantees. Let’s face it, this should have been dealt with long before now.

At the end of the day, there’s a lot of talk, banter and nonsense on Capitol Hill, but in this upcoming election voters should be wondering what we are paying our elected officials to do.

What would happen if we initiate a pay-for-performance plan? Would lawmakers realize then that we expect progress? Doubtful, but it’s certainly worth a try.


—Thelma Grimes