Garret Ahern is a biology junior and Mustang News liberal columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
Before I begin introducing you to what is sure to be the dirtiest, most environmentally, socially backward and, yes, most conservative Congress in history, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself.
My name is Garrett Ahern, and I am a third-year biology major from the beautiful and sunny city of San Diego, California. As the new liberal columnist for Mustang News, I find it appropriate to begin my time here with full transparency. Without much insight into who I actually am, one can easily determine my political associations simply based on the title I hold.
Despite this inescapable truth, I prefer to identify as a progressive, rather than a liberal, because at the heart of my political sentiments is the idea that progress is the driving force behind fairness and equality at the foundation of the Union we are so blessed to be part of is the principle that everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does his or her fair share and everyone plays by the same rules.
With that said, I would now like to introduce you all to a Congress that — as represented by those who hold the majority within its chambers — can easily be considered the antithesis to those very ideals.
Since that fateful Tuesday last November, when the GOP (Republican Party) took back control of both the House and the Senate, its members have been salivating over the agenda they plan to execute within the halls of Congress. Repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) lies at the forefront of the GOP’s regressive strategy to dismantle the achievements of the current administration and to further the gap between the haves and have-nots.
Credit should be given, however, to the success achieved by the right-wing media machine and its participants in managing to convince a large group of Americans that a piece of legislation like Obamacare, that, although flawed, was designed to eliminate the disparate treatment occurring within this country’s healthcare industry. When all is said and done, the 114th Congress’ plan to dismantle Obamacare will be no more successful than its preceding class’ 54 attempts to do so.
While the House majority has been busy carrying on the legacy of its predecessors, Senate Republicans have managed to find the time to confront the work they were sent to Washington for in the first place: to bolster a recovering economy and promote continued job growth. Staying true to their party’s style, Republicans on the Senate Energy Committee believe the answer to these challenges is to make big oil richer, innocent Americans the victim and Earth’s climate subject to further change.
On Thursday, the committee voted to move a bill for the construction of Keystone XL to the floor of the Senate, despite President Obama’s repeated claims that he will veto any bill approving the pipeline’s construction. The president’s remarks follow a position he has held, saying that if it was shown the pipeline would contribute to the effects of global climate change, he would not approve its construction. These meaningless efforts by Senate conservatives are of no surprise to Americans. As history has shown time and time again, there is reality and then there is Republican reality — each as similar to each other as night is to day.
With its new additions of radically conservative members, the next couple of years on Capitol Hill will prove to be as fruitless as the past four. Although we can expect to be steadily entertained by the ludicrous behavior of the Congressional majority, we can just as well expect to be steadily frustrated by the continued disconnect between lawmakers and the constituents they represent.