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’members Of The Us Congress Are Too Concerned With Local Matters And Not Concerned Enough With Issues Affecting The Whole Country’ . Discuss

1544 words - 7 pages

’Members of the US Congress are too concerned with local matters and not concerned enough with issues affecting the whole country’ . Discuss. (30) The United States Congress has three primary roles: to represent, to legislate and to scrutinise (or ‘oversee’) the Executive Branch. However many people are beginning to wonder whether or not certain roles are more prominent than others, such a representation. Not only that but it can be argued that members of Congress may have slight ‘amnesia’ in terms of remembering that they were not only elected to represent their constituents, but their country too. It appears that self ambition and the prospects of re election are too sweet of an ...view middle of the document...

The staff of members ensure that their successful handling receives favourable publicity in members districts as reports on local television station across the country and postings on members websites. Local pressures weigh heavily with politicians seeking re election. Whereas, in the early nineteenth century, Congress was characterised by high membership turnover, it has not been since 1945. Unlike in Britain, where members of Parliament are elected or defeated almost entirely because of their party affiliation, congressmen and congresswomen are heavily dependant for their re election on their advertised capacity to represent their constituents’ interests. The proportion of incumbents winning by substantial margins was not only high, but was rising to levels of more than 85 percentile the rate of incumbents winning re-election rose after the aberrant 1992 elections, with rates close to 90 per cent in the House sand just below 90 per cent in the Senate. That has been the norm in the last nine congress ion elections. However it’s important to make the distinction that these problems are often seem to be associated more with members of the House rather than the Senate. Due to the seemingly short election cycle of representatives (that being re election of every two years) if the incumbent seeks re election they obviously must cater to the needs of their constituents at every possible opportunity, otherwise they made me ‘kicked’ out of office. Due to the longer nature of the election cycle in the Senate (that being re election every six years) Senators have slightly more room to ‘breathe’ and are able to not only represent the views on their constituents but the views of the nation as a whole, after Senators have a whole six years to make their constituents happy. Senators are also considered to have a large breadth of experience and knowledge, which sometimes is seen to excuse them of putting national issues before local issues (as they have representatives to do that right?) Senate elections usually attract more able, and better-financed, challengers to incumbents than do elections in the House. Whereas

House congressional district boundaries are redrawn (and often gerrymandered) every decade, state boundaries cannot be adjusted. Most elections, according, rather more competitive than those in the House. Those who believe that Congress consider members to be more concerned with local issues rather than national issues but also consider the constitutional requirements that members of Congress must reside in the state they represent. Furthermore, a number of states inset on a ‘locality rule’, that House members reside in the congressional district that they represent. It’s also important to note that members of Congress are usually born and raised in the state which they represent, therefore it can be argued that as a consequences members of Congress, whether its subconscious or fully conscious are naturally biased towards parochial inserts in the...

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