In Detroit, we can live with a municipal bankruptcy as the government continues to function -- albeit not at an optimum level, the government still works. However, when Congress focuses on politics rather than sound public policy, it is the American people who suffer, and it is "Brand America" that gets its reputation damaged across the globe. And at such a crucial time as we become more involved in international disputes. Congress has had ample opportunity and time to work out their differences, even with complex policy disputes mired in politics and controversy. When it would have been clear that the House could not reach a consensus among themselves they should should have tapped trained non-partisan facilitators, including those from the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service, a federally funded agency,  to provide a forum for resolving the toughest public policy disputes and create a process by which to bring the stakeholders together.

Consensus building is a process by which the parties seek unanimous agreement.  It involves a good-faith effort by each stakeholder to meet the interests of each other. In today’s legislative environment, politics often trumps policy and public policy dispute resolution can assist lawmakers and regulators in reaching consensus and bring closure to a number of issues that have long been unresolved, while overcoming outside political pressure.

However, in this situation chaos trumped consensus because not all the stakeholders sought an equitable solution in good faith.  It is time politics takes a back seat to agree on a vision for this country. Once our elected members of Congress can agree on a vision, we can then work to re-establish trust and begin to engage in civil and productive discourse leading to resolving complex policy disputes for the sake of moving our Nation forward.

However, this takes leadership and I am not sure we have that today in Congress.

 

 

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