Term: 2 Years
QUESTION: What change or reform would most improve the performance of Congress?
Lee F. Breuer (Republican)
Steny H. Hoyer (Democrat)
Lee F. Breuer (R)
2008 Kirklin Dr., Oxon Hill
Jeweler; founder/president, Lee's Fine Jewelry; member, Prince George's County Republican Central Committee, 1986-present; nominee, Maryland House of Delegates, 1986; Regent National Federation of Republican Women; adviser, National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence; employee, Merrill Lynch, Wall Street office, Accounting Department; delegate, Maryland State PTA; chairman, March of Dimes, Cancer Society, Heart Association and Cerebral Palsy; member, Lawyers' Wives Club; CPA; two daughters; honored by Maryland House of Delegates and Senate for humanitarian causes.
A: Most members of Congress occasionally issue news releases or newsletters to their constituents when the reported items are beneficial because the actions discussed would meet with the approval of the voting constituents. Votes on proposed bills or other actions that for any reason may not meet with the approval of the majority of the constituents are not included. The voters are told only what they want to hear. All members of Congress should be required by law to issue periodically (semi-annually or quarterly) factual accounts of all voting and other official actions that transpired during the period. The periodic report would be released as a published news release or public announcement or mailed newsletter. It should be mandatory that a brief summary describing each bill or other matter and an explanation of the rationale for the vote or action should be included.
Steny H. Hoyer (D)
6621 Lacona St., Forestville
Congressman, 1981-present; chairman, House Democratic Caucus; member, Appropriations Committee; co-chairman, Helsinki Commission; member, Maryland Senate, 1967-79, and president of Senate, 1975-79; member, State Board for Higher Education, 1978-81; practicing lawyer; married; three children; graduated: Suitland High School; University of Maryland, 1963; Georgetown University Law Center, 1966.
A: Congress must address the fiscal crisis confronting our nation and it must do so in a timely manner. It must not put off budget issues until the last minute, thereby plunging the operations of government into turmoil and traumatizing federal employees. There is no procedural quick fix to accomplish this objective. What is required is the will and the political courage to do so, and the realization that in a divided government there will, of necessity, be a requirement that compromises are effected. During the coming session, I would do everything in my power to avoid the current crisis that confronts the Congress, the country and the international community. To the extent that this results from the appearance and the reality of government gridlock, it is the responsibility of the president to provide leadership and present viable budget options, of the Congress to act in a timely fashion and of the leadership of the Congress to do everything to accomplish that objective.