Rep Allen West writes: Two-month extension deal more about politics than policy leadership

January 03, 2012

By Allen B. West

In November 2010, I was elected to represent the constituents of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. Along with others of my Freshman class, I was sent to Capitol Hill on the wave of discontent sweeping our nation regarding the failure of those in our Nation’s Capital to adhere to our constitutional principles. I was sent to address our inability to rein in wasteful spending, spiraling debt and deficit, and provide the courage to tackle the critical reforms that must be made to protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security.

In January 2011, I again reaffirmed the oath I took 22 years ago as a young Second Lieutenant in the United States Army to support and defend our Constitution and this nation, and the standards I carried onto this battlefield of ideas were the same that I have always carried: conviction, character, integrity and a patriotic love for this country.

Unfortunately, there are not many in Washington, D.C. who carry those standards, as the events of the last few days of 2011 have demonstrated.

I stand with my fellow Americans who are disgusted and disappointed by the absurd political machinations we have just witnessed with the passage of this ludicrous two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and sustained growth rate (SGR) for Medicare providers.

How anyone can attempt to defend this decision as the proper and intelligent way to implement policy is beyond me. However, this decision exposes a far great systemic problem on Capitol Hill, and indeed America.

Along with the United States Senate’s inability to pass a budget in nearly 1,000 days — forcing the passage of numerous Continuing Resolutions simply to keep the Federal Government sputtering along —  not to mention the refusal of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to consider the nearly 30 bills already passed by the House of Representatives designed to stimulate jobs and economic growth, this two-month extension, and the ridiculous dance carried out by the negotiators, exposes clearly the political dysfunction paralyzing our country.

Furthermore, this political dysfunction is representative of a societal dysfunction enhanced by manipulative demagoguery promoted by a complicit media.

The United States of America is at a critical crossroads in its young history. We are facing enormous challenges both within and without.

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