A Call for Bipartisanship


Courtesy of Getty Images

Congresswomen in white at the State of the Union

Nina Rutzen, Sentry Staff Reporter

On February 5th, millions of Americans turned on their televisions to watch President Donald J. Trump speak to both chambers of Congress on his intentions for his next year in office. During the State of the Union Address, there were many calls made by Trump for Republicans and Democrats to join forces and focus on achieving what Trump believes to be the most pressing issues right now. This call to action is ironic, seeming as the speech came not long after the longest government shutdown in history.

Recently, Democrats and Republicans have had multiple failed attempts at compromise and finding common ground, with this problem only being exacerbated by the November midterm elections. This polarization has meant that many bills in Congress have not been passed due to the fact that members of one party refuse to sign onto it purely because it was introduced by the “opposition.”

The extreme separation of the parties was physically represented at the State of the Union by the Democratic women who wore white in a sea of dark suits and otherwise dull outfits. These women chose to dress in white in order to honor the work of the suffragettes and point out that Trump has tried to discount the major strides that women have made to get to the place where they are today as congresswomen.

It is important for people to stand up and speak out for what they believe is right and that Congress is representing the ideals of the people who elected them. However, some issues are just too important to be debated over and be dubbed as partisan.

One example of how much partisanship can harm Americans is shown by the extreme inflation of the price of prescription drugs. In the United States, the government leaves the price of pharmaceutical drugs up to the companies that produce them, leading to lots of competition in the market.

Most recently, the popular pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson increased the prices of cancer fighting drugs by 7 percent. This has caused people in the lower class to being  forced to choose whether they will purchase medicine that could save their life or provide food for their family.

Although the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed many policies that would help to lower the prices of these lifesaving drugs, the polarization of Congress has made it so that none of the policies come to pass. Congress is so stuck in its own ways that they are taking no mind to the people who lose their life every day to this issue, but instead they are arguing and unable to reach an agreement that would allow government agencies to somewhat regulate drug prices, saving countless lives in the process.

Immigration is another issue that, although it is partisan in nature, needs to be looked at as a bipartisan issue due to the many consequences of the current solution proposed by the president. Children are dying at the border without even being allowed to see their parents, all so that a point can be made about how bad illegal immigration is and how it needs to be stopped. One proposed solution to this issue is to “build a wall.”

However, what many fail to recognize is that even with a wall at the southern border, there are still ways into the country. For example, people could use the northern border at Canada to enter the country, or even attempt to climb the wall, depending on how it is built. Although these are important facts to consider, the one big glaring issue is the fact that people are dying in the hands of United States Border Patrol Officers.

Both parties must come together so that these and many other urgent issues affecting populations around the world can be solved. Some issues are just too important to be argued about.