'Congress Is the Broken Branch of Government' to What Extent to You Agree with This Statement? (45) Essay

646 WordsMay 24, 20153 Pages
Over the years, congress has divided public opinion. More recently, it has been described by many as ‘the broken branch’, meaning it is the section of government thought to be the most dysfunctional and poorly run, that lets all of the other sections down. This could be said to be true if one merely judges congress on its public perception, which is rather not greatly positive. However, it could be said that the public is only shown the negative side of congress by the media, as this is where the greater amount of interest lies. The fact that congress is an extensive forum of debate, scrutiny and opinion, as the founding fathers intended, is given far less coverage, and shows Congress not to be the broken branch. One reason congress is thought of as the broken branch is because of its incredibly low public approval ratings, which are far lower than that of the executive. Currently, approval ratings of congress are at 18% and in decline, whilst Obama’s approval ratings are at around 40%. Though both are below 50%, public approval of the exectutive is significantly higher, leading to the belief that congress is the more flawed branch of government. However, there is a great paradox here, for although public opinion of congress in general is low, the public’s opinion of their own congressman is far higher, at an average of around 60%, and re-election rates are also high. This suggests that the majority of the population believe their representative is carrying out his role effectively, which goes against the view of congress being the broken branch. Another reason many believe congress to be the broken branch is because of the corrupt use of filibusters. In the senate, filibusters are used in protest when a senator in the minority party holds the floor until the majority backs done and kills the bill in question. In 2013, for example, Rand Paul held the floor for 13
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