"Recently, Reid allowed votes on only 11 Republican amendments over the
course of an entire year—while the Republican-controlled House voted on
174 Democrat amendments."Now that is gridlock.
ClearthinkA Chem EngineerSay No to BOFlashbackSo
why do we have a 17th Amendment? What problems existed that motivated a
Constitutional change (which is, by design, not easy).If popular
election is a problem, should it be eliminated for the House and for almost all
state and local level offices? If it is okay for those offices, why not for
Senators?If money and lobbying are a problem for Senators (and I
would agree that they are), is the problem the money or the manner of election?
Are these problems not possible with election at the state level? Would there
be “king makers” at the state level who would broker deals based on
the money influencing them? Would curbs on money be more effective (and better
apply to other politicians as well)?
Right.When does Orrin plan to start working on a solution?
I disagree that the Senate broke when the 17th Amendment changed how Senators
are selected. Whether it is by state legislative appointment or popular
state-wide vote, the people of a single state are still making the decision.
In fact, it is harder for the people of a state to be bribed by
outside groups than for individual state legislators. Yes, outside groups can
contribute to Senator campaign funds, but they can also contribute to state
legislator campaign funds.
to UtahBlueDevil (9/4)...Politics is like the 2nd grade? Really?
@hockymom...."Congress is exactly where our POTUS wants it - Divided. If
it's divided and "not working", our dear leader can find reasons to
bypass it and do whatever he wants with his phone and his pen. Did Hitler have a
congress? How about any other socialist or communist leaders?"Your kidding US? Right??? Republicans like spoiled children who did not get
their way launched an all out war on America to divide US. The ugliness started
when GWBush cheated both elections and created his dictatorship. So please spare
" harry's unprecedented suppression of opposition amendments. harry
acts like a petty dictator."And in the House.... its a huge fest
between parties, right? It really is quit amazing how one can find behavior
offensive when carried out by one party, but the exact same behavior is
acceptable when carried out by one's own party. Why the difference?
Shouldn't it be wrong regardless? Evidently not. Right and
wrong seems to be conditional based on party affiliation.
One side has dedicated it's entire existence to prevent government from
functioning. What else can we expect when the house and half of the senate
refuse to work?
First, I wonder if Senator Hatch could bring himself to use the term
"Democratic Party" (the correct name of the organization. Maybe the
could be one small step toward restoring the comity he claims to miss. The term
"Democrat Party" is incorrect and was intentionally created to
antagonize the party (of which I'm not a member, BTW.) Second, Sen.
Hatch's crocodile tears over the sad state of the Senate bely the fact that
he has contributed for years to the deterioration of the function of the body.
When at any time has he been prevented from reaching across the aisle to seek
Liked the Orrin's summation up to when he took a right turn with Harry.Rather than owning up to the republican party's sabotage of the
congress, he places the blame upon the defender of the Senate.Just
Any other suggestions???Yup. Get the money out of politics. Curb
campaign donations and lobbying and the rest will take care of itself.Term limits? Get the money out and these guys wont want to stay. If they
cant get their feet kissed by every person with money looking for a favor, the
fun just goes away.Seriously. What problems would we have if these
representatives were not bribed?
I generally do not agree with hatch, but he hit the nail on the head when he
cited harry as the main problem. I see none of hatch's detractors address
harry's unprecedented suppression of opposition amendments. harry acts like
a petty dictator.
He started it with his obstruction of judges and and "gee whiz'
maneuvering. Ask him to relate his contributors and related legislation.
It was interesting last night. Here in North Carolina we have one of the hotly
contested senate seats, so much so that the commentator was from the national
press. The two running were given the opportunity to give opening statements,
then via lottery one would get the first question. Both in their intro's
talked about how broken DC is and that there was a need to come together to do
the work of the people... that things were out of control when it comes to
partisanship.I was encouraged....Then the first question
was asked to the Republican candidate what would he do about the ISIS issue
should be be elected. For the next 3 minutes, all he did was rant on what a bad
president Obama was... with the commentator stopping him and asking again,
"what would you do". He never answered the question.Regrettably the Democrat candidate didn't do much better.What
an opportunity lost. I turn the debate off after 25 minutes. Neither would
answer a direct question. Rather they both spent their time on why the other
party was bad. We need people going to Washington to work on solutions... not
"Sadly, the current majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, has largely done away
with these critical and defining practices. Under his leadership, the Senate has
departed from its constitutional functions and become an embarrassing
failure."No Senator Hatch, sadly the Senate is "broken"
because of Republican members abusing the filibuster rules of the body. It is
not the Majority Leader who has failed, it is the senior leadership of the GOP
to allow the Tea Party members - AKA, Ted Cruz - to hold the government hostage.
"At a time of deep political division, most observers agree on one thing:
the United States Senate has become dysfunctional. This view is shared by
Americans across the ideological spectrum and by current and former senators of
both parties." There are probably several in each state of the Union. The real problem is that our government was designed for a sparsely populated
horse and buggy world 250 years ago and no longer fits the current need. The
Senate was to be the House of Lords and the House of Representatives the
Commons. The Senate has done it's job perfectly, in spite of efforts it
represents only the rich and powerful people in America. However, the House of
Representatives did not do it's job of representing the people and chose to
represent the rich and powerful people also. It is very unlikely that the
Congress of the USA will allow any thing to change the character of the
representation unless ordinary people can get the vote and actually effect
dave4197, I was agreeing with you until you wanted to change the Constitution to
have representation by population. As you may or may not recall, that mode of
election for the Senate was eventually rejected by the framers of the
Constitution. We'd have ended up with two branches of Congress exactly the
same. The framers were wise to adopt the 2 senator per state. That way, the so
called "smaller states" would have an equal voice in the upper house.
The "smaller states" were defined as smaller in population. Your idea
would have California, New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and a couple of
other eastern states making law for the rest of us that we might not want. In
other words, they'd protect their own interests.Thankfully the
founding fathers saw that problem and solved it. Now we just need to repeal the
the entire US congress is basically a broken system. It has worsened over the
years to where it is today. There are only a handful of Senate members who
really try to do what is best for the country - the rest are all partisan hacks
who are slaves to their party regardless of the issue. George Washington warned
of this over 200 years ago fearing the poltical party system would be a problem
for our democracy and he was correct. How to fix it? Well getting rid of Harry
Reid is a start but beyond that I don't see much hope. Personally I would
love to see a GOP dominated senate with all of the GOP members conservatives
which would imply removing Orin Hatch and John McCain. I do think conservatives
are much more likely to compromise on issues compared to democrat radicals so
there would be some improvement with bi-partisan cooperation I think. Still the
800 lb gorilla is still the 2 party system in America which needs to change.
Partisanship will be fixed the day any and all current senators and
representatives are ejected from their current positions.The longer
they have been there the worse they get...no doubt some are worse than
others.The longer people are in the more deluded and lost they
become as it relates to any concept what real people need from government.Republicans and Democrats all need to be voted out in the next two
election cycles. Lets get to it people. Only then will elected
representatives have some degree of accountability.Stop buying into
their partisan games. They are thrilled we are divided right down the middle.
Ever heard of divide and conquer? That is what the current batch of politicians
have made a career out of.
Orrin Hatch: Partisanship has broken the U.S. Senate. It's time to fix it
===== And yet -- Not one mention of his junior
partner Sen. Mike Lee who threw a temper tantrum and shutdown the Government --
and who has voted "NO" on virtually everything the Senate has tried to
pass?!Not one mention from his GOP partner GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell
who vowed their ONLY job [meaning the Senate] was to make Pres. Obama a ONE term
President?And now Sen. Hatch, YOU sit there and have th audacity to
blame the partisanship happening in the Senate on Senater Harry Reid?Give me a break!
Slash and burn?The calling card of the minority party.When/if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, look for the Democrats to
filibuster exactly like the Republicans have done since 2009.Look
for Democrats to do exactly what Republicans have done since 2009.Block/obstruct/stall/lampoon everything Republicans try to accomplish.
Senator-for-life Orrin Hatch WANTS to fancy himself as a "statesman";
the only trouble is he doesn't act like one.Sen. Orrin is OWNED
by lobbyists. He CLAIMS to be conservative - whenever he comes to S.L. Most of
us in the Republican party haven't believed that claim for years.He keeps getting re-elected because - well - ..............mostly because
people don't understand the issues very well and he has a lot of name
recognition. Having wealthy donors doesn't hurt either.MANY
of us believe he should have retired 22 yrs. ago. He believes himself to be
INDISPENSABLE to D.C. politics however, so........there he still is.He's irrelevent. The ONLY one who believes in his greatness is himself.
He "reaches across the aisle" and votes with demos. most of the time
anyway.Sure, Harry Reid has his problems also - but thats a whole
other issue.Despite what he says I don't believe for a minute
that he will EVER retire from the Senate. Most likely he WILL run again - to
"save" HAFB yet another time.PLEASE Orrin - let someone have
a chance to serve. EVERYBODY could be better than you!
Hatch wants to fix the Senate; I'm pretty sure the Senate is already
"fixed" - as in horse races. He then writes, "[b]ut to
improve the situation, we must identify the true source of the problem."
Yeah, we've already identified the problem: money. And guess who supports
almost unfettered access to it? You do, Senator Hatch.
Senator Hatch should look at getting his own house in order. Consider:1. Hatch and deliberately walked away from negotiations on the ACA. The
excuse is that GOP ideas were not being adopted. I don't believe that good
faith ideas would not be considered and affect the end product.2.
Republicans are filibustering virtually every nomination. Even non-political
State Department appointments are being held up. The Administration and Reid
have offered to separate out the political appointments in order to move the
non-political ones, but the Republicans refuse.3. From before the
inauguration, the Republican leader has vowed to stop virtually every
Administration initiative and to work to ensure the failure of the President.
This has created an atmosphere of hostility, all of their own making.4. The majority has or is willing to allow action on Republican legislation.
But where the Administration has signed on to Republican ideas, the Republicans
have withdrawn support of their own legislation.5. Speaker Boehner
has refused to appoint conference committee members to resolve differences in
versions of legislation, a critical process.All the whining by Hatch
and the GOP is posturing for the coming election. Nothing more. They are the
cause of Congressional gridlock.
@ordinaryfolksThe Founders deliberately set up the election of Senators
via the state legislatures. It was not a relic of the past. Can you think of any
reasons they might want it that way?
It's not a surprise that hatch spends most of his time pointing his finger
at others, such as Harry Reid, saying that's where the dysfunction is
coming from but it is depressing. But I think it started with the inflexibility
of the current Republicans and seeing as how the incoming senators seem to just
get more and more inflexible, I don't see it changing anytime soon.Hatch is as much a part of this as anyone else in the Senate and judging
by this editorial he's going to keep it that way.
If the Senate Republicans had not changed the traditional nature of the
filibuster, Mr. Reid wouldn't have needed to make the changes he made. As
long as the goal of Republican senators is to oppose everything proposed by the
President, the Senate will be useless.
There is one problem..Violations Of Citizen Equality..Bribery is ingrained
in government operations........Proof is in front of our faces but we
can't open our mouths.Say this 50 times...........Share Holders'
Money can only be spent on Profit...and charities.....Money spent on
public office is not charity.We break our own rules of conduct, and are
helpless to use bribery law to end it. Until now. What is different? Now we know why we can' open our mouths. Our reality is driven by
Satan/hardwired Instinctual Behavior Mechanisms..You should want proofs,
don't just believe because I tell it is so.ASK Any---PhD.
Psychologist/psychiatrist -Hard Wired Human Instinctual Behavior Is:1_____ An artificial intelligence program of advanced design*.2_____
Unsure still, but leaning toward the theories presented in instinct being an
A.I.*.3_____ Pretty sure Instinct is not an artificial intelligence
program, but (more research is needed.*)4_____ I am sure instinctual
behaviors is not an artificial intelligence mechanism. (no research is
needed) Thank you for your time in answering this important question.If you would like to add your opinion to your answer, this would be
appreciated very much.OpinionName_ sign/email_
D.C. (and America) are "broken" due to one thing: money flowing into
politicians pockets. That's also the reason we haven't seen Senator
Hatch in Utah for about 30 years -- except to raise money. If i
thought Senator Hatch had anything to do with writing this editorial I'd be
embarrassed for him.
If the garden has weeds, then the gardener is at fault. Having worked as a
Senate aide first in 1969 I have witnessed the decline of the Senate as
described by our senior Senator. To twist Shakespeare,"the fault lies with
you, dear Brutus". I am in midstream of my six decade and one thing I have
learned over time is to know when it is time to quit. There are so many things
senior, senior citizens can do to help society it is sad our senior Senator
doesn't take up one of these alternative services and retire. We would all
be better off for it.
"If and when Republicans regain control of the Senate, we must reject the
slash-and-burn tactics employed by the current majority leader, which serve only
to destroy an institution carefully designed to promote good government."Oh please Orrin, your hypocrisy is appalling. Your party and yourself
are true believers in slash and burn tactics. You have become so bitter and
partisan that you fail to see what you do. Just last week, your appearance and
speaking at Varian was another example of your partisan ways. Many were
appalled how you took the opportunity granted to you to celebrate Varian's
contribution to the state to make a political speech and spend considerable time
criticizing our President. You were right many, many years ago when
running for Senate the first time. People who stay to long become disconnected
and serve only themselves and their party. You have played a major role in
making what the Senate what it is.
"America's Founders designed the Senate to refine the immediate
impulses of popular will, and to apply considered judgment to produce thoughtful
legislation aimed at the common good."America's Founders
did not recognize women, African-Americans, Native Americans, and poor non
land-owning white men as people with Constitutional rights. The Founders also
structured the Senate so Senators were appointed by state's governors, who
themselves were wealthy white men, because they didn't trust We the People.
The Seventeenth Amendment fixed that--some lofty history about the lofty Senate.
So while the Constitution is an extremely meaningful document, it was flawed
when it was written and remains so today. The Founders knew that, which is why
we can amend it.I hate it when powerful politicians ignore the
Constitution (Congress declares war, torture is illegal by treaty, corporations
have Constitutional rights, spying on citizens...) when creating public policy,
and then embrace it to give us a fantasized version of past events in order to
make political points right before an election. The Senate isn't working
because Senators from both parties are not interested in compromising, just
getting re-elected. Like the presidency, Senators should be term-limited.
I can not believe that there are posters here who wish to return to the 19th
century, and remove the popular election of senators. Unbelievable. Shall we
remove other amendments as well such as the right of woman to vote, or to bring
Sorry Orrin,You lost me at "petty partisanship".You
rubber-stamped every George Bush fiasco and have been an obstructionist for 6
years now, denying the will of the American people to satiate your small
insignificant base. I am ashamed and I think you should be too. That's no
way for a statesman or patriotic American to behave.
I respectfully disagree with Sen Hatch's call for continuing old traditions
in the Senate. I've heard'em before, the Senate is supposed to be a
deliberate body, etc.Today's US Gov't needs to respond to the
will of the people and to confront the issues of today. My suggestion of
changes needed, in contrast to Sen Hatch's op ed.Term limit Senators
so they don't become icons and so we get more citizen legislators, i.e.
legislators who have to live in the world created by their legislation. There
are better ideas out there, Sen Hatch, among us.Make the Senate a
statistically representative body by losing the rule about 2 Senators per state,
we need Senate seats to be parceled out by population, yes that means Rhode
Island gets one and California gets 12, among other fair changes. Require
the Senate to vote on bills instead of debating them and tabling them
infinitely; we'll get better results overall from this one change.Got
more ideas too, Sen Hatch.
What he said.
Congress is exactly where our POTUS wants it - Divided. If it's divided
and "not working", our dear leader can find reasons to bypass it and do
whatever he wants with his phone and his pen. Did Hitler have a congress? How
about any other socialist or communist leaders?
Might I add these suggestions to those of Senator Hatch?1) National
political office should be limited to eight years. 38 years in office breeds
complacency and reinforces crony capitalism.2) If you want the higher
level of deliberation Hatch talks about,repeal the 17th amendment.
Hatch ran on the platform of "anti-establishment" and
"anti-incumbent" in 1977. He IS the establishment. He HAS been the
incumbent far too many times. He is the problem, not the solution.To fix this mess, we need: 1- Term limits in the Senate and House. I
also would suggest that we change the terms to 4 year terms so that house
members aren't constantly running for re-election.2- A return of
statesmen who consider it an honor to serve in our government and return home to
their prior occupation following their service.3- No lifelong retirement
package (including healthcare benefits and money) for ANYONE who was a
politician. Any other suggestions???
jashill, you sound like another of the far right, more a Libertarian than
Republican. The comments offered here by Senator Hatch are in fact one that
should be taken to heart. There is nothing wrong with talking to your political
opponents and sitting down and crafting legislation that can pass with
bipartisan support. Both sides seemed to have abandoned this approach and the
nation is the worse for it. When someone tells me that they never compromise I
can be assured of three things:1. They have never been married
because married life is a series of compromises by both parties.2.
They have never raised teenagers. Anyone that has does not need any further
explanation.3. They have never been in business because a failure
to compromise would end any success.I would encourage Senators to
begin talking to each other. Cut the level of staff and engage personally in
crafting legislation. Any bill that passes on a strictly partisan manner, no
matter which party passes it, ends up being poor legislation and even poorer
Mr. Hatch does describe the symptoms of the problem fairly well. I am not sure
I completely agree with a root cause. Sen. Reid used the position of power to
break traditions and to further his agenda. The cause is like much deeper.The Founding Fathers did envision the Senate as a place where impulses
of the day were tempered. The Senate, rather than representing the will of the
people (which is accomplished in the House of Representatives) was designed to
represent the sovereign states that made up the nation. The balance
was lost when the people began to directly vote for senators rather than being
elected and accountable to the states - through the legislature. This 1913
change (17th Amendment)caused the eroding of a pivotal protection for each state
from overreaching federalism.How would Sen. Reid, Sen. Hatch or any
Senator fare if they were accountable to their state's legislature for
defending states rights instead of political power wielded by Washington
Senator Hatch: He issues all that blather about the Senate being broken, and yet
apparently has not a clue as to the real cause of the Senate
dysfunctionality. The function of the Senate was torpedoed with
the passage of the 17th Amendment on April 8, 1913 - yes, over 100 years ago.
But what we are seeing today is what Thomas Jefferson predicted - and Orrin
Hatch should know this. The 17th Amendment undermined the entire
foundation of the Senate as crafted in the Great Compromise during the
Constitutional Convention of 1787 by changing how the Senate was elected. The
Founders established that since the States were independent Sovereign States,
tasked with the general funding of the Federal Government, that the Senators
were to be elected by the State Legislatures - thus the Senate represented the
States who had to pay the upkeep of the Federal Government. The
17th Amendment changed the election of Senators to a popular vote by the
electorate - same as the House of Representatives - thus opening the doors of
the U.S. Treasury to the masses. On April 8, 1913, the United States of America
ceased to be a Republic, and became a Democracy - bound for bankruptcy.
If you are around for 38 years, you have time for unlimited debate. Presidents
are only around for 4 or 8 and they need competent people on their team that
they have vetted. The Senate is a wreck because people waste time up there
blocking reasonable nominations and sending up legislation over and over that
just sais kill obamacare 40 different ways like a child begging for sucker while
their parent is trying to get something productive done.
Hatch conveniently leaves out the outrageous Republican obstructionism that
forced Reid to alter the rules on filibuster. Of 168 presidential appointments
rejected in the entire history of the Senate, 86 of them--nearly half--were
Obama appointments!!! Republicans like Mike Lee childishly refuse to vote for
cloture on any Obama appointments. The result has been near breakdown of the
gov't. All of Orrin's high-toned talk about "the deliberative
traditions of the Senate" is just political eyewash.
So Senator, what can be done to spotlight the complicent democrat senators who
support Harry Reid, thus enabling him? It seems they all vote in lock step. How
about calling them out on what they are doing to the Senate as you stated in
your article? 95% of the public have no idea of the harm they are doing since
they never hear anything except the Republicans are the problem. For
heaven's sale (and ours), will you and others go public via the mass media?
The Republicans in Congress rightly deserve the wimp reputation they have. And
yet when Senators Lee, Cruz, and Paul speak up, they are criticized by their
The Senate broke when the 17th Amendment was adopted. Instead of having state
legislatures elect senators, now the general public does, which has led to the
domination of special interests, money, and populism. Lack of term limits also
contributes to the broken Senate, with entrenched Senators such as Reid and
Hatch who harbor bad feelings based on personality conflicts.The
Republicans did control the Senate not too long ago, and they made enough of a
mess that the people elected Democrats, who are probably worse in most areas.
Neither party represents the people, and neither will unless we revert to the
Orrin Hatch is not a defender of the Constitution. He should have retired before
his last election. He shamefully questioned Elena Kagan regarding her alteration
of evidence in the federal courts pertaining to partial birth abortion. Though
he skillfully led her to admit her participation in changing evidence, he did
not follow through with a challenge to withdraw her nomination because her
conduct was illegal and required her disbarment. Instead he acquiesced in her
placement on the high court. He is no defender of the U.S. Constitution. He
ignominiously joins his Democrat friends in criticizing Utah's Senator Mike
Lee for his courageous defense of our Constitution and Liberty.Retire Senator Hatch! Utah needs another Senator pledged to defend our
Republic rather than serve the Secret Combinations of the Republican Senate and
allow the continuance of the treasonous conduct of Harry Reid. You speak for the
self-serving Old GOP, not for the people of this great Republic.