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It is time to end the partisanship

POSTED: July 10, 2017 6:30 p.m.
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Lewis Levine covers public safety and other events for the News and area TV stations. In case you’re wondering, he’s a conservative.

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Lately I’ve been thinking and that can be a dangerous thing.

What’s been weighing heavy on my mind is the state of our government and the lack of unity I have witnessed over the last eight years.

In 2010, I spent the weekend on Capital Hill and the White House as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was hammered out. I sat in the house gallery and listened to the pros and cons of this bill, which was designed to make healthcare in America affordable for everyone. At the end of that weekend in March, the Democrats passed the bill without one single Republican vote.

Now it’s been said this was a smart move on the Republican side of the aisle because they won the house the following election cycle supposedly because flaws in the bill were starting to show.

The Tuesday following the passage of the bill, President Obama signed it into law in the East Room.

If I recall correctly, not one Republican representative attended the signing. Now I have no intention of debating the merits of the bill. If our national leaders couldn’t find common ground on this issue there is no way I could.

What has me upset and should also have you fired up is here we are, seven years later, and "our" leaders are trying to hammer out a new bill without input from the Democrats.

I can’t recall exactly why Republicans sat on the sidelines in 2010. I do recall there was a health care summit held in Blair House across from the White House. It was attended by the president and members of both parties.

Since then, our elected leaders have decided it’s no longer beneficial to work with one another to find solutions to help you and me. Instead, from what I’ve seen members of both parties are towing the party line because otherwise they face not being re-elected.

For eight years under the Obama administration, the Republicans stonewalled the president on his agenda, and now it’s the Democrats turn to return the favor.

What we, as Americans, fail to realize is at the end of the day the average citizen suffers from the lack of action by our elected officials.

Take the current healthcare bill sitting in the Senate. It’s on hold until "our" representatives return from a two-week break.

Granted, there are parts of the bill even Republican members are not happy with, but this number of representatives are outweighed by the number of Democratic representatives who are not raising hell to be a part of this process, which is what the Republicans should have done in 2010 - be a part of the process.

I have yet to see elected officials representing you and I, it’s more about what’s good for the party, not the country as a whole.

When a national tragedy, such as the terrorist attack on America on September 11, hits we rally and get fired up and want action. But when it comes to what we the people want and expect from our leaders when it comes to the betterment of the country you can hear a pin drop.

Why are we not peacefully marching and protesting the lack of action from those we pay to represent us? Why are we not calling out the parties for not working on our behalf.

I’m calling on my representative, Rep. Buddy Carter, to take that walk across the aisle and sit down with his Democratic colleagues and work on the problems facing our country.

Stop playing partisan politics, roll up your sleeves and get to work as a united body, not a divided body, because united we stand, divided we will surely fall.

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