scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Senators across the aisle bemoan the dysfunction in Congress

The Capitol in Washington, D.C., in dreary weather on Oct. 14.Kent Nishimura/Getty

The Globe editorial board is correct to point out that the current dysfunction in Washington is diminishing the nation’s ability to protect itself and support its allies (“Senate logjam of diplomatic and military appointments harms US,” Oct. 13).

Some senators agree, too.

In the recent edition of The Senate Project series — debates between sitting senators hosted by the Kennedy Institute, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, and the Bipartisan Policy Center — Senators Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, both said that our nation’s adversaries are using the current dysfunction in Congress to portray America as a declining power, unable to come to any country’s defense.


Rubio said, “We are being tested on how we perform and behave. … It influences our adversaries’ view of America.” Both senators agreed that to reverse the nation’s image as a declining power in the world’s eyes, we must demonstrate ourselves as a democracy that is united and functioning and, therefore, able to deliver results for the American people and our allies.

The unsavory mix of one of the most closely divided Congresses in history combined with outdated rules in the Senate means that just one senator can stop deliberation and progress on matters of national security. However, by putting the nation’s interests first, enacting needed legislative reforms, and modeling effective bipartisan leadership, members of Congress can begin to demonstrate the leadership our nation and our allies are seeking today.

Adam G. Hinds


Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate