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What is required from members of Congress and the public alike is a new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest.
Of course, the genesis of a good portion of the gridlock in Congress does not reside in Congress itself. Ultimate reform will require each of us, as voters and Americans, to take a long look in the mirror, because in many ways, our representatives in Washington reflect the people who have sent them there.
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Public Policy quotes
Baseball may be our national pastime, but the age-old tradition of taking a swing at Congress is a sport with even deeper historical roots in the American experience. Since the founding of our country, citizens from Ben Franklin to David Letterman have made fun of their elected officials.
To win the war on terror, we must know who our friends are and where our enemies are hiding. We can't continue fighting terrorism using the same foreign policy blueprints that were in place before September 11th.
Filibusters have proliferated because under current rules just one or two determined senators can stop the Senate from functioning. Today, the mere threat of a filibuster is enough to stop a vote; senators are rarely asked to pull all-nighters like Jimmy Stewart in 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'
You now have six-year campaigns for the Senate,you never stop running. It's not uncommon for a member of the Senate to have a fundraising breakfast, a fundraising lunch and a fundraising dinner, and then when the Senate breaks for the week to go home, more fundraisers. And that's driven by the cost of campaigning.
The amount of U.S. debt held by countries such as China and Japan is at a historic high, with foreign investors holding half of America's publicly held debt. This dependence raises the specter that other nations will be able to influence our policies in ways antithetical to American interests.
My first meeting as a senator, my first day, they were already talking about the next election. Part of that's the permanent campaign, part of that's a word I've been using more frequently, 'tribal.' Our politics has become tribal: It's us versus them.
I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.
Challenges of historic import threaten America's future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. Congress must be reformed.
We should be proud of liberating the 26 million people in Iraq and should remember that this is why it is important to stick it out to it's successful conclusion.
We must do all we can to help improve the deplorable human rights situation of the North Korean people.
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