Phoning it in on taxpayers’ dime
An intriguing idea: Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a “virtual Congress,” where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts. Under a resolution Pearce introduced on Thursday, lawmakers would be able to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices. I have some doubts, though.Although there would be certain benefits for constituents — the saving of money, for example, and more possible contact with the members of Congress — I also can see limitations this would bring. Telecommuting has become increasingly possible and demonstrably valuable. There’s nothing I do in my job that I can’t do just as well from home, except interact with people. That’s an important consideration for someone who expresses strong opinions about the public policy decisions some of those people make. I think it’s even more important for what is supposed to be a deliberative body. Every time they enact a law or make a decision on how to spend my money, I want to think it’s after they have thoroughly hashed it out with each other, giving and taking in a spirited debate. That process would be harder to accomplish if everyone were just phoning it in between breakfast on the patio and trips to the hardware store.
Parents of disabled children vow to take on beer distributor Pepin in fight over horse therapy center land