The Problem of Congressional Efficacy: A Remedy From A Brazilian Living in America

PolitiFact Verified, the United States Congress has the lowest approval rating of all the government branches, at eleven percent. However, incumbents are re-elected nearly ninety-six percent of the time. Intriguingly, an explanation for this would be that Americans like their individual congress members because they feel like they represent them, but not the governing body as a whole, which is an interesting philosophy.

Paradoxically, this philosophy’s problem is that constituents reelecting incumbents are looking at short-term effects within their own spheres of influence. Localities take precedence over the nation in the mind of each constituent. Congressional members who can take advantage of this receive high marks, from what Jared Haftel has told all of us. These high marks pave the way for their own reelection. Once reelected, incumbents continue their term right where they left off, and install pork-barrel projects in legislations they support, which send money back to their districts, which later reelect them. The process repeats every election.

Nevertheless, there is an unexplored solution that may offer some solace to discontent citizens. They would only necessitate the opportunity to vote someone into their congressional district once per every two midterm elections, encouraging both parties to vie for each district and preventing one party from monopolizing a state on the federal level.

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