With the various issues facing our government, most Americans believe the biggest problem right now is Congress itself. And Congressman Richard Hanna doesn't dispute that. We spoke with the lawmaker about what everyone wants to know--the gridlock. And, is it ever going to get any better?
"The days when you could feed people partisan politics and have them love you, those days are gone," says the Congressman, "A lot of the gridlock is born out of partisanship that is designed to support the parties, but not necessarily the policies or the people."
It's a little bit like shirts and skins, according to the Congressman, and both parties are ruled by their extremes. The freshman representative says he's noticed many bills sent to the senate aren't as clean as they could be. That makes it difficult to get things passed. "You look at the Rasmussen polls and Congress has a 6% percent approval rating and you wonder why it's that high some days when you're done here, but they know that. They see it. They talk about it. But they still play like their team is the one that has the answers."
Something's gotta give. But will it? He says it has to. "We are the generation that runs the risk of passing forward to our children less than we were given. Everybody kind of gets that. And it takes time to absorb it and in fact to believe it and I think everyday people believe it more--That we're at a crisis point.
This crisis point, he says, was inevitable, but it's how congress responds to it that's the true test... a test re-think how things are done. "I think it's important that we maintain ourselves as a society that shows compassion," he says, "Understanding the human condition, and humanity, and how we treat one another."
Hanna says he votes for the issues, not the party, which makes him somewhat of a minority down here, and at times unpopular. But that independent thinking, he says, will get us through this financial crisis.
"If you want to do something do it in a way that's thoughtful, not draconian, don't do it overnight, let people have an opportunity to work away from it," Hanna says, "Offices like ours and people like me, our values going to go up this year and years beyond."