It must be nice to be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and then vacation at set times no matter what is going on. That’s what our three branches of government seem to do every year. This year focus should be placed on the Executive and Legislative branches. More specifically, the President, his cabinet and Congress. Each of them are enjoying vacations in their home states or in the President’s case Martha’s Vineyard. Is it convenient for people across the country? They don’t care. Are problems getting solved? Nope. Do some of them spend their time off doing useful things? Sure, a few of them. However, right now is not the time for vacations or side trips across the country, it’s time to for them to return to Washington and deal with the issues across the country and around the world.
There are five big issues that should be specifically addressed right now by our elected officials. Iraq, Ukraine, executive actions, Immigration and the economy. Many across the country are complaining that Congress doesn’t do enough, but the founding fathers intended for government to not be able to do too much. However the founding fathers did intend for elected officials to handle crises when they come up in order to protect the people. Major mistakes have been made in each of the mentioned categories, and more mistakes may be made if full debates are not had by officials on both sides of the aisle. Many of them tie into one another and eventually impact one another, as Iraq and Ukraine are examples of a disastrous foreign policy and the threat of executive actions over immigration and Iraq should be watched carefully.
Congress should be called back tomorrow to convene for an emergency session from Tuesday to Saturday. President Obama should also be there to address Congress and update them on discussions he has had with his cabinet members about the issues mentioned above. Congress should begin by tackling the situations in Iraq and Ukraine, where either situation could quickly escalate to a foreign nation putting boots on the ground in either country.
The first of the five major situations to address is Iraq, where American lives are currently in harm’s way. Senator Rand Paul himself put it best just the other day stating that the American people deserve for their leaders to have a full debate and to follow the Constitution when it comes to military involvement in Iraq. I couldn’t agree more. I am not saying that President Obama should ignore ISIL; I am simply saying he should follow the Constitution and get Congressional approval for any military action in Iraq. The situation has changed since last year, and I am confident that Congress would authorize military action against ISIL. ISIL has slaughtered thousands of civilians across Syria and Iraq and possibly even a small part of Jordan, and they need to be stopped. The American people deserve to hear all options from their elected officials before any action takes place.
After addressing Iraq, Congress should also address the situation in Ukraine. Rumors were circulating just yesterday that Ukraine had destroyed several Russian trucks within Ukraine. If Russia were to use this as a context to launch a full scale invasion of Ukraine then Ukraine would certainly fall in a short amount of time. Russian forces are already amassed at the border, and could carry out this invasion at any moment. We absolutely should not be using military force in this situation, but Ukraine and other Eastern European nations should know that the United States and their allies are willing to stand with them against the Russians. The United States and NATO should be arming the Ukrainian government and supplying them with humanitarian aid to give to those who have fled fighting in the country. Congress can work with President Obama to find a more permanent solution to this situation too; a possible energy deal with European countries would be a fantastic idea in my view.
After Iraq and Ukraine, immigration should be addressed. Just before Congress left for their current vacation, Senators Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions helped to defeat a bill by House Speaker John Boehner that would have been too lenient. Senators Cruz and Sessions are advocating for no amnesty, and they are absolutely right. Congress should find a way to fix the border situation that involves helping those that have already come across the border, but then sending them back once we know they are healthy. They should also focus on preventing more from coming across the border illegally. I would suggest shutting down the border until a more permanent solution is reached on the situation. However, no solution should involve amnesty for those that have come illegally; it is not fair to law abiding American citizens that have lived here their entire lives or those who have come here legally.
Unfortunately this situation leads into another, executive actions. President Obama has famously said that he has a pen and a phone and isn’t afraid to use it, and he has proved just that. Congress should be in session to ensure the President isn’t acting on his own. Many believe he is prepared to use execution actions on immigration, which may involve amnesty. It is Congress’ job under checks and balances to ensure the President doesn’t do that. No matter what time of the year it is the American people deserve to know what is going on and they deserve to have different voices and opinions. That is what our founding fathers intended for our country.
Lastly Congress should be talking about a solution to the current state of the economy. The time to submit a budget is approaching, and Congress should work to prevent another shutdown. The budget should be balanced every year, which is the job of Congress.
Overall, what I am asking for is not radical. I am asking Congress and President Obama return to Washington to do their main jobs, be leaders and debate solutions to the issues. It is what the founding fathers intended for our country, and if that means our leaders have to make sacrifices to their vacation time, so be it.