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Bipartisan Cooperation Needed in Congress

A message from the St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee Chair and Vice-Chair


Comparing the 117th and the current 118th Congresses provides a stark insight into the importance of competent leadership and bipartisan cooperation. 2023’s dysfunction in Congress has led to the lowest number of bills passed in decades.


Under Democratic leadership between 2021 and 2022, the 117th Congress passed a typical ~350 bills, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the (bipartisan) CHIPS and Science Act, all of which benefit Northern New York.  


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will expand badly needed broadband internet service to our rural communities and improve water systems in both Massena and Watertown as well as rebuild bridges and roadways. The Inflation Reduction Act amended the longstanding “non-interference clause” which limited Medicare from “interfering” by negotiating drug prices and caused the United States to have some of the highest drug prices in the world. 


Medicare’s ability to negotiate prices on some of the most expensive and widely used drugs will ultimately lead to lower drug costs to individuals and reduce federal health expenditures. This bill also provided the most significant measures to address climate change ever enacted in the U.S. 


Senator Charles Schumer crafted the CHIPS and Science Act with the intention of promoting manufacturing in New York and keeping the U.S. competitive with China in semiconductor chip research and production. As a result, the Corning facility in Canton, NY, will be at the forefront “with the production of the materials that are essential to making chips,” according to Sen. Schumer.


Rep. Elise Stefanik voted against these bills. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand supported them.


Under Republican leadership in 2023, the 118th Congress has fully enacted a mere 20 bills. Most of these bills were uncontroversial such as measures to rename some Veteran Affairs clinics or to mint a coin honoring the 250th anniversary of the Marine Corps. Must-pass bills to raise the debt ceiling or keep the government funded were so contentious one led to the House Speaker position being vacated, resulting in three weeks of Republican infighting before a new speaker was finally elected.


There are too many critical issues at hand for this dysfunction to continue. Bipartisan cooperation needs to return to being the norm.


Mike Zagrobelny, St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee Chair

Ginger Storey-Welch, St. Lawrence County Democratic Committee Vice-chair


(Building) Bridges - image courtesy of historicbridges.org

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1 Comment


woodandduff
Mar 08

Why the long periods of silence? What are the good efforts Ny and Federal dems are doing/proposing that would be beneficial for the 21st that are not supported by the current gop rep? She fills up all the air in the room with bs and no dem’s respond? Corning stood to benefit and she voted against the effort and this is the first I hear of it? Wtf?

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