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August 3, 2017

Can Republicans and Democrats learn to work together?

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  • Partisan politics in the U.S. Congress has been on the rise since the 1990s.
  • Republicans’ failed attempts at passing a new health care bill highlight the particularly partisan nature of Congress. In response to the Republicans’ actions, Senate Democrats boycotted hearings and conducted sessions at night to protest the secretive bill proceedings.
  • The June 14 shooting that left third-ranking House Republican Steve Scalise hospitalized brought politicians from both sides together in a stance of unity. However, the battles ensued over efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
  • Fewer elected moderates and an increase in special interest group influence have also Hontributed to the lack of bipartisanship in Congress, according to Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.
  • Though partisanship has always existed, it has surged since the 1990s when then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich focused on unifying the Republicans against Democrats. In response to the growing divide, in 2013, Democrats changed Senate rules to allow them to approve President Obama’s court nominees without any Republican votes.

  1. Essential question: How important is the ability to compromise in politics?
  2. What factors have contributed to the increasing partisanship shown by members of Congress?
  3. What would it take for the Republicans and Democrats to work together in a bipartisan way?

Key Terms:

partisanship: the tendency of government officials to support their party’s policies

Sarah Seale contributed to today’s Daily News Story. 

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