Entries in Gridlock (3)


Glickman Says He May Be 'Pollyanna-ish' But Thinks Split Gov't Will Help Unlock Gridlock

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In an interview with ABC News, Bipartisan Committee Senior Fellow Dan Glickman says he’s optimistic about the prospects for an end to gridlock in Washington next year.  If things don’t improve, however, Glickman said, “there could be a much more serious independent party movement in this country” in 2012.

“I was in the administration with the split government, at least for a while with the Clinton administration, things tend to work a little bit better when you have one party in at least one part of government, and another party in at least one part of government,” said the ex-Rep. and ex-Agriculture Secretary.  “My judgment is that I think things will calm down a bit. I still think we're for a few years of serious partisan differences, but I think the public is not going to tolerate bickering and hyper-partisanship. So, I'm hopeful, and maybe I'm 'Pollyanna-ish,' but I think we'll get a little bit better.”

Glickman, who spent 18 years in Congress representing Kansas’ 4th District, also hoped to see more leadership coming from the President and Congress on tackling the nation’s growing debt and the deficit.

Asked by ABC News for his advice to his former Democratic colleagues on the Hill regarding expanding the Bush-era tax cuts, Glickman responded, “I  would have liked to see the President take a stronger message in terms of a value-statement, of what he supports, and he's come out with some of that, but given the election, my guess is they'll probably punt this for awhile, a year or two.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Exclusive: Fans of Congressional Gridlock Cheer Election's Outcome

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As many Republicans favor political gridlock as oppose it, complicating the lives of leaders of the victorious party in this month's congressional elections.

While the phrase customarily is taken as a negative, the latest ABC News/Yahoo! News poll finds that Republican registered voters in fact divide evenly, 42 to 43 percent, on whether gridlock is a bad thing because it prevents good legislation from being passed, or a good thing because it blocks bad laws.

The split underscores many Republicans' skepticism of active government.  But it may make it difficult for GOP leaders to push their own legislative agenda.  And it raises questions about the durability of the party's appeal to independent registered voters, who favored Republicans by a record margin Nov. 2, but who see gridlock as a negative by a two-to-one margin, 57 percent to 28 percent.

Democratic registered voters even more broadly see gridlock as a negative, and among all registered voters combined it's viewed negatively by 56 to 31 percent, again nearly two-to-one.

Whatever registered voters think of it, most believe it's coming: The poll, produced for ABC and Yahoo! News by Langer Research Associates, finds that 81 percent of Americans overall think gridlock is "likely" to occur in the next Congress, and just over a third say it's "very likely."´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


McConnell Reverses Course, Backs GOP Earmark Ban

Photo Courtesy - Office of Sen. Mitch McConnell(WASHINGTON) -- The top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Monday changed his stance and vowed to support an effort by other GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate to implement a party ban on earmarks, the special projects that members of Congress insert into spending bills.

“I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor as Congress reconvened for a lame-duck session set to focus on spending and taxes.

“And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government,” he said. “That’s why today I am announcing that I will join the Republican leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress.”

The earmarks issue has highlighted a divide within the Republican Party, a divide that Democrats would have loved to accentuate. Old guard members such as McConnell had opposed the ban, on the grounds that it would “save no money” and give the executive branch “a blank check” to decide where federal money gets spent.

“Every president, Republican or Democrat, would like to have a blank check from Congress to do whatever he chooses to do,” McConnell told the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington earlier this month.  “You could eliminate every congressional earmark and you would save no money,” he argued, even though the anti-spending group Citizens Against Government Waste said Congress had earmarks totaling $16.5 billion in fiscal year 2010.

Now, faced with a growing number of his own party getting behind the ban in the wake of the election, the Kentucky lawmaker has changed his stance.

The GOP vote, expected on Tuesday afternoon, will be conducted by secret ballot and will be non-binding, so senators would not have to follow through on it.

Both parties have long used earmarks to direct money to their districts, with members of the appropriations committees in both chambers particularly eager to continue the process so they can keep directing money to favored causes. But now the long-standing use of earmarks appears in jeopardy.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio