A former Missouri Congressman who ran for President twice thinks time will restore Congress to a productive level after several acrimonious years.
Richard Gephardt now heads his own lobbying company in Washington after 26 years representing part of St. Louis in the House, six as Majority Leader and eight years as a Minority Leader.
He says the unpopularity of Congress is not new and says it’s usually unpopular because getting a majority of 535 people to agree on major issues can generate a lot of controversy.
Gephardt thinks the condition has been worsened by voters angry about the recession. “A lot of people lose their jobs, lose their house, lose their pension,” he says. “They get angry, understandably, and they tend to send people to represent them who are equally angry and having made up their mind ‘that these are the answers’ and ‘it’s going to be my way or the highway.'”
He says many of those members are leaving or are becoming more likely to compromise. He says he’s an optimist who thinks Congress will get back to a more normal situation between the chambers and within the chambers and in relations with the President, whoever it might become.
But, Gephardt says, decision-making will never be easy in Congress
Gephardt joined former House Speaker Dennis Hastert during a seminar in Washington.