Head-to-head: Paul Ryan cutting off votes proves to be beneficial
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Head-to-head: Paul Ryan cutting off votes proves to be beneficial

On Jan. 13, Paul Ryan sent a message to his fellow congresspeople: tardiness for votes won’t be tolerated.

To fully understand the situation, some background information is needed. In the House of Representatives, bills are allocated 15 minutes of time for voting.

In Washington right now, there’s a problem where many representatives are tardy for the votes, causing what’s allocated 15 minutes to take around 30 minutes in most cases. The 15 minute rule is rarely enforced to allow for all members to vote.

New Speaker Ryan decided to combat the tardiness in Congress by holding true to the 15 minute voting rule, causing 80 Democrats and 57 Republicans to miss the vote. I fully support Ryan’s decision to stick to the 15 minute vote, despite some of the controversy surrounding it.

By creating an actual sense of accountability in the House, Ryan is doing well. This shows improvements over former Speaker John Boehner, who simply scolded the congresspeople for their tardiness but never actually did anything to hold them accountable.

Being a congressperson is obviously a taxing job with a lot of responsibilities, but at the core of those responsibilities is actually representing the people by voting. By not showing up in a timely manner for their votes, these representatives disenfranchised the citizens who elected them in the first place.

Some may argue that Ryan is sticking to closely to the rule book, and that he’s sacrificing democracy in the name of efficiency. However, 297 congresspeople were able to show up for the vote, so Ryan isn’t setting impossible standards. The only ones harming democracy are those representatives that missed the vote.

Something is definitely wrong with Congress nowadays, and trying to decrease tardiness isn’t an overnight fix for the problems that plague our Congress. They still might not pass any bills because of gridlock, but at least people will actually be represented by their representatives

Ryan is taking steps, even if they are baby steps, to create a more respectable Congress.