The Senate majority leader (Harry Reid) and the speaker of the House (John Boehner) singularly decide what legislation is to be debated and voted upon.
In this way, Congress is not operating as a democracy. It can be corrected. When at least 51 percent of the respective members of the House or the Senate want legislation discussed and voted upon and it goes forward for a vote, then Americans will be truly represented in Congress by their elected officials.
This problem also carries over to the nomination of federal judges. The political party in power always has a one-vote advantage on the Senate's 11-member Judicial Screening Committee. That has proved political. Unless the judge being reviewed for nomination meets the committee's ideological agenda, the nomination never reaches the Senate floor.
This procedure is unconstitutional. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of our Constitution clearly envisions that a president's judicial nominees are to be reviewed with the advice and consent of the Senate. Our Constitution does not envision that a select partisan Senate committee can withhold a judicial nominee from an up-and-down vote by the entire Senate. The current procedure denies each American citizen their representation in Congress because their senators are unable to vote. This committee should only make a recommendation to the entire Senate.
But then this judicial nomination system and the rules to get legislation before the entire Congress is endemic of other politicized congressional procedures in Washington, which deprive its citizenship of a full, working democracy.
Albert J. Emanuelli
Hilton Head Island