Stephens Media columnist Steve Brawner writes this week on the partisanship and potential bipartisanship in the nation’s capitol.
Brawner highlights the collective support of Republican Sen. John Boozman and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor to endorse a trucking industry bill to keep drivers with drug and alcohol records off the road.
He wonders if this small bipartisan gesture could be applied to greater problems impacting the country:
So what about issues where the stakes are higher? If Arkansas’ senators can address irresponsible truck drivers, can they work together on the nation’s fiscal irresponsibility?
Last week, Republicans and Democrats chose compromise after making the country endure a lot of drama that was unnecessary and frankly not very interesting. Hours before shutting down the government, the two sides agreed to a budget deal involving relatively minor spending cuts and then went their separate ways, each blaming the other for the brouhaha. I don’t want to say the whole thing was orchestrated, but they have had a lot of practice at this.
Had the government actually shut down, the country would have felt the results. The last time that happened, 1995-96, was a prosperous and peaceful time that could absorb Washington shenanigans. Today the country is still in the midst of a weak economic recovery and involved in three major combat operations. Investors, no matter what language they speak, do not like uncertainty, and for the United States, these are uncertain times.
If Pryor and Boozman can jointly propose the Safe Roads Act, can Republicans and Democrats work together long enough to meaningfully address the deficit?
They must. Because what happens in the next few weeks is going to say a lot about whether the government the Founding Fathers gave us is still capable of solving the country’s biggest problems, much less keep truck drivers with drug and alcohol records off the road.
You can read his full column at this link.