Congressional Agencies And Public Office

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POS 4424 Assignment One Members of congress are faced with many tough decisions during their time in public office. They have to balance the interest of their constituencies with the interests of outside influences such as political parties, special interest groups, or national interests. These interests are rarely aligned and require tough decisions to be made when voting. When preparing to vote on a major issue congress members are inundated with different opinions sent in by email, mail, phone calls, and social media (How a Member Decides to Vote). Congressional agencies provide reports and studies, special interest groups send in background material, and fellow congress members provide recommendations (How a Member Decides to Vote).…show more content…
( Friedersdorf, Conor) Lee voted against the AUMF because she felt that it was too broad and gave the Bush administration too much discretionary military power. Lee represented the ultra-liberal 13th district of California, which included the area of Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda. Interestingly, her father was a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. army, but was notorious was her anti-war sentiment. (Friedersdorf, Conor). The Senate passed the AUMF in a vote of 98-0 and the House 420-1, Lee being the only vote against. This vote was especially controversial because the political climate after 9/11 was that of national unity and her vote broke that unity. Lee’s vote reflected the views of her constituency amid national pressure to vote for the resolution. Her vote did not go unnoticed and she received many letters of support and opposition. She was predicted to lose her seat and subsequently did not. Lee’s single vote against the AUMF illustrates the conflicting nature of local and national interests that congress members face. Looking back, some believe that her vote was vindicated. The U.S. has been entangled in two costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to the AUMF being used liberally for purposes other than it was originally intended. On February 3rd, 2015 three republicans voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, going against the Republican Party’s policy of repealing the
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