That’s what House Speaker said this week when he was asked why Congress was so polarized. The paralysis was evident as Congress prepared to adjourn for summer recess leaving a mound of unfinished business — a new farm bill, legislation to de-activate the sequester — the term for a series of looming automatic spending cuts, a defense spending bill, the extension of some or all of the Bush tax cuts, on and on. It’s all waiting for us in September.
What’s the matter with Congress? Boehner was asked by reporters Thursday. The Ohio Republican said he’d never seen the American electorate this divided. “You see that polarization reflected here in the halls of Congress.”
And there’s no sign of a break in the gridlock. Rep. Steve LaTourette, a fellow Ohio Republican and a longtime moderate, announced plans this week to retire, saying he was tired of Washington. “The atmosphere today … no longer encourages common ground,” he told reporters in Ohio. Meanwhile in Texas, tea party favorite Ted Cruz won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst who was backed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a pleasant and funny man but hardly a moderate.