The Feb. 17 article “Committee chairs seek to reassert power in Congress” was a welcome bit of background reporting on one reason Congress has come close to losing its ability to function.

Congress is deserting some of the traditional conventions of conducting business that served us largely well in the past, and it is the worse for it. These include not only the traditional committee system, as the article explained so well, which allows issues to be worked out in a smaller forum before receiving less flexible consideration in the full House or Senate, but also the precept that Congress is expected to legislate solutions to issues, not just champion partisan proposals.

One sentence, though I suspect it was a typo, suggested how bad the situation has become. “The deal, unpopular with both the GOP rank and file, had been cut between the White House and Senate leaders, and no one particularly loved it.” When the GOP rank distinguish themselves from the GOP file, there is too much fragmentation in Congress.

David P. Culp, Fairfax