Vote House Republicans out

It is time to clean the House. In 2011 the Republicans gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and in 2015 greatly increased their majority. They wanted to get the country moving in the right direction.  They were afraid of the changing leftward values and policies from health care to migration to gay rights that they had comfortably lived under for many years. The past two years they shoulda/ woulda/ coulda have worked with the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to promote and pass a series of right-of-center alternatives to the Democrats and the Obama administration.

Instead they disagreed among themselves and created gridlock in the House which in turn created congressional gridlock. They got rid of Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerWounded Ryan faces new battle Bottom Line Trump, GOP fumble chance to govern MORE (R-Ohio) but Paul RyanPaul RyanWounded Ryan faces new battle Can Trump rebound after failure on healthcare bill? Trump: Dems ‘will make a deal’ on healthcare MORE (R-Wis.) is still not able fix the House and end the Republican’s internal gridlock. Both Speakers followed the so-called Hastert Rule, under which a bill will not be brought to the floor for a vote unless it had the support of the majority of the party, in this case half the Republican members in House. This meant the Speakers encountered barriers when trying to cut deals with centrist Democrats. It doesn’t matter if the Representatives are Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) or members of the Freedom Caucus, they just can’t work together, let alone govern.

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Oddly enough, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWith GOP’s healthcare bill on ice, Dems go on offense Trump to undo Obama's climate change agenda Kushner met Russian bank executives: report MORE is in line with the public on their views of Congress and Congressional Republicans. A July, 2016 Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that just 11 percent of likely U.S. voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Only 24 percent think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job.

A Gallup poll released on Oct. 12, 2016 found that Congress has just an 18 percent approval rate and that only 14 percent of Republicans approved of the job done by Congress. Given Trump’s slump in recent polls, Republicans running for Congress are beginning to distance  themselves from his presidential campaign and asking voters to elect them as a check on a Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWith GOP’s healthcare bill on ice, Dems go on offense Trump tweets: 'Trump Russia story is a hoax' Path to 60 narrows for Trump pick MORE administration. But if elected, the House Republicans are not likely to be any more successful in opposing Mrs. Clinton than they were opposing President Obama.

The solution is not to vote for any incumbent Republicans running for the U.S. House. However, thanks to redistricting based on the 2010 Census, most U.S. House districts are safe for Republicans. If, perchance, a Democrat is elected, the district will become competitive in 2018.

Harry Perlstadt, PhD, MPH is professor emeritus of Sociology at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.


The views expressed by authors are their own and not the views of The Hill.