116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
During the past 25 years, members of Congress have devoted much of their time to fighting legislation proposed by the other party, even if that legislation would benefit their district. Results have become unimportant because there are so few; the process has taken priority. The rationale mouthed by members for opposing legislation simply because it was proposed by the other party has been that the legislation included things that are contrary to their “principles.”
Members of Congress who oppose legislation because of their “principles” should be rewarded for their principled stand by being denied funding for their district from the legislation they opposed. Such a rule would relieve members of the terrible burden of hypocrisy and shame they bear after voting no on legislation and then seeking money from it.
Such a rule could have many benefits. First, it might inspire members to propose amendments to legislation they oppose on principle and, if their amendments are passed, their principles would be vindicated. But that would require members to do some work rather than simply voting no on legislation. Second, it could lead to more bipartisanship and cooperation in Congress. If members knew they could not get funding from legislation they opposed, and they needed funding from it for their district, they might work more for their district than their party. Third, if members were denied funds for their district from legislation they opposed, voters would have valuable information to use in the next election.