Update: Senator Mark Udall's self-congratulatory newsletter takes credit for all the great work he's done in 2011. According to the note, “This year, Washington, D.C., became synonymous with partisan gridlock and political posturing. It would be easier to throw up our hands and say nothing can get done – but that’s not the Colorado way.” No, it's not, Senator. Now, get to Washington and do your job!
After spending the entire year railing against the gridlock in Congress, Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet find themselves stuck between their holiday vacations and the payroll tax cut extension. While the Senate passed its bill and closed for the year, the House remains in session and is asking for a compromise.
As the left tries to pin this on the House GOP, the Senate is the one shirking its duties. Simple civics, both chambers have to agree on legislation before it's sent to the president. We've seen these stop-gap measures all year long. It seems like every bill congress passes has a two- to six-month lifespan.
Take, for instance, the debt ceiling debate. Both houses had their own idea on how the country should proceed and wanted something before their summer break. Bennet took this opportunity to criticize all things Washington without offering any suggestions or solutions. During an NPR interview, Bennet said, “I think we can act on it. I think the plan, as I understand it, is still the same, which is for the House to send a bill over today for us to vote on it. It's not going to pass. And then hopefully to move on to a compromise.”
For Bennet and the other senators to just drop a bill on the House and walk, is reckless at best. The Senate sent over its bill, it didn't pass, and now it's time for a compromise, but Bennet and Udall are nowhere to be found.
Coloradans deserve to know where Udall and Bennet stand on the conference committee. Instead of hiding behind Senator Reid, they should be calling for the Senate to reconvene and assign conferees to end this debate. We already know that The Denver Post reporter Allison Sherry can access these officials, so she needs to ask them why they aren't still railing against the gridlock.
Stand up and be accounted for or continue to enjoy the 11% approval rating.