Retiring members of Congress say they're fed up with the partisanship in Washington.
National Journal reports that departing lawmakers despair of paralysis in the political system that makes it difficult to pass even the most routine legislation.
"Rather than producing tangible solutions to better this nation, partisan posturing has created a legislative standstill," said Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), who is retiring after ten years in the House. "Unfortunately, I do not foresee this environment to change anytime soon."
Alexander is not the only one who feels that way. Thanks to intense partisanship, the inability to move or contribute to legislation that becomes law, demands to raise money, and the earmark ban, a number of now-retired lawmakers say life in Congress isn't what it used to be.
"I thank God every night in my nightly prayers for giving me the insight to decide in 2006 not to seek reelection," said former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., who left after 24 years in Congress.
"Civility is a thing of the past," he said. "It used to be ... the other party was referred to as 'the other side.' Now they're the archenemy and you shoot to kill on sight, and it is bizarre."
Bill Galston, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said the politically toxic atmosphere is likely dissuading accomplished people from running for Congress in the first place. Said Galston, cofounder of No Labels, which has organized 82 Democrats and Republicans into a group dubbed the "Problem Solvers Coalition":
I suspect that a whole lot of people, who in other circumstances might have considered running for national legislative office, have decided not to on the grounds that it's too hard to get things done, and also too hard to do what it takes, particularly if you're a member of the House of Representatives, to stay there.
Via National Journal.