If it doesn’t seem like the lawmakers Americans send to Washington, D.C., can agree on anything, it might be because it’s basically the truth. Our politics have become so toxic even seemingly universal ideals are up for debate. It’s a depressing state of affairs, and most of the time it seems there’s no way out of it.
But, every once in a while, a piece of legislation is passed by Congress revealing a brief glimmer of hope for the future of bipartisanship.
“The Senate is sending a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia to President Donald Trump to sign after the bill received overwhelming support in Congress,” reported The Associated Press’ Richard Lardner on Friday. “The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both are veto proof numbers as the White House has wavered on whether the president would sign the measure into law.”
This is an absolutely necessary step since all our intelligence agencies agree on the fact of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The timing is doubly important as Trump has sought warmer relations with Moscow despite this reality. The bill itself prevents the president from easing these new measures without Congress’ approval. For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin wasted no time in responding.
“Russia's Foreign Ministry on Friday said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy in Russia to reduce the number of its diplomats by Sept. 1,” reported Lardner. “Russia will also close down the embassy's recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow as well as warehouse facilities.”
It’s heartening to see our representatives come together to work toward a common goal which reinforces our shared national sovereignty. There are other issues looming just over the horizon such as the debt ceiling, tax reform and, yes, stabilizing the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets. We hope these lawmakers are able to find common ground again and again. That’s what politics at its best look like.