This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The tumultuous end-of-year negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" were dramatic and embarrassing. Congress had more than a year to deal with the situation but left things to the very last minute.

According to recent polls, the public perspective on Congress is pitifully poor. Only 9 percent polled thought positively of Congress; 85 percent thought negatively. Furthermore, Senate Republicans used the filibuster nearly 400 times in the past two years to block Democratic legislation.

Currently, the Republicans have avowed that their focus will be on federal spending for the next two months, while the Democrats would like to pass some gun-control legislation.

Congress seems to be at political loggerheads. Can it not do two things at once?

Louis Borgenicht

Salt Lake City

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