Due to political gridlock, the 113th Congress had the dubious honor of earning one of the lowest approval ratings since Gallup started to record congressional approval ratings.
While the economy has been growing at its fastest pace since 1999, it is important to remember that Congress’ inaction could make the growth unstable.
In the Guardian, former Republican senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe, said that the average person doesn't necessarily feel that the economy is growing. Wages have remained stagnant as the cost of living rises. “People understand the direct correlation between the hyper-partisanship in Washington and their economic well-being, which has been neglected and put in jeopardy,” she said.
The Economic Policy Uncertainty Index measures how political uncertainty affects the economy. They have found that when there is economic uncertainty there is a decrease in industrial output and employment.
Congress is also hurting the economy by not taking on difficult issues, like immigration. These reforms are supported by many business leaders to the Latino community, yet meaningful bills like the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, were not even considered in the last days of Congress in 2014.
What Congress instead passed in their limited time was- and I wish that I was joking- giving honorary citizenship to Bernardo de Galvez, a Spanish general who led Continental soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
Congress is leaving the important issues of the day on the table. Other than immigration, our infrastructure needs repairing, our tax system is more of a sieve that has so many loopholes that corporations find it easier to move to other countries than remain here.
Finally, Medicare and Social Security reform is desperately needed as our population is greying. It is estimated that Medicare will run out of funds by 2030 and social security by 2033, so if current trends persist our generation may never see a penny that we put into Social Security.
The main issue for Millennials is the uncertainty Congress is creating. Right now, we have an increasingly robust economy, but unless if serious reforms are made that recovery will be temporary. Partisanship does not work and if it continues, our generation will be saddled with colossal problems that will be very difficult to fix.
This Congress has a choice: continuing the status quo and let the country crumble or come together and find effective solutions.