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Minnick: Leaders prefer soundbites to hard work

| June 29, 2010 11:13 AM

POST FALLS — Here is a theory about why it’s so partisan in Congress.

 Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick, who visited Post Falls this past weekend, blames the House and Senate leadership.

The leaders are representatives and senators who come from very, very secure districts, he says.

They are chosen from those districts in part because they can’t spend much time campaigning. They have a lot on their plates as leaders, Minnick says.

Being in very secure seats, they also tend to be extreme left and extreme right.

 “It’s very frustrating and leads to poor legislation,” Minnick says.

Legislation is affected because party leaders prefer scoring a critical soundbite against the other party to doing any actual hard work.

But there’s hope, he says.

 He’s optimistic about the upcoming Congress, which likely will have more balance in its numbers of Republicans and Democrats.

“That will hopefully take the edge off,” Minnick says.

With an evenly divided Congress, everyone likely will have to be more bipartisan to get anything substantive done, he said.

“Good ideas come from both parties,” Minnick says.

Minnick today earned the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over his Republican opponent, Raul Labrador. In 2008, the U.S. Chamber endorsed 265 candidates; 213 were elected.

— David Cole

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