Some new members blame their elders. A freshman congressman from Michigan, Paul Mitchell, got a dozen of his fellow newbies to co-sign an op-ed that urges the Senate to get moving, implicitly calling out their senior colleagues for forgetting what they were sent to Washington to do. “Failure to do so is a failure to follow the will of our voters,” the freshmen wrote in their article published Tuesday.
For its part, the Senate blames the House. A Russia sanctions bill passed the upper chamber with 98 votes a month ago, but it has yet to come to the floor in the House. That prompted Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to accuse the House of “dilly dallying” and “a ridiculous waste of time.”
House leaders say procedural issues and Democrats have tied up the legislation, which the White House opposes. Some members, however, suspect that House leadership is purposely slow-walking the bill to avoid embarrassing the president. A spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan denied that was the case, telling me the White House’s position on the issue was “not a factor” in the bill’s fate.