Unhappiness with the effect of the partisan nature of Congress on lawmaking is growing on and frustrating the groups he encounters when he appears at events in the 10th Congressional District.
Dold ran into Congressional criticism when speaking to the Northbrook Rotary Tuesday and the Glenview Sunrise Rotary Club last Thursday. Bob Wise of Glenview was very direct with Dold Thursday. “If Congress is so dysfunctional why should we reelect any of you,” he asked.
The North Shore Congressman answered with some frustration of his own. In the year he has been in the House of Representatives he has had to adjust to operating a small business to working with people who put party above the nation.
“In business we have a plan and everybody gets on board. When we realize we may be wrong we say ‘my mistake’ and we go a different path. Not many people in Washington can admit to a mistake,” Dold said. “Take a good look at your representative and hold him accountable.”
Only in Congress a year, Dold is learning to bring his business attitude to work with him. When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) recently tried to utilize a conference committee to work out differences with the Senate over extending the payroll tax holiday, Dold originally went along.
A few days later Dold realized Boehner’s idea was not working and to ask the Speaker to go along with the Senate version. Within an hour and with pressure from others outside the House Republican Caucus, Boehner relented.
“In a Presidential year everything will be looked at through a partisan lens,” Dold Said. “(Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he wants to make President Obama a one-term President. We need to put people before policy and programs before partisanship.”
Dold was critical of Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as well for not allowing votes on measures which have passed the House with more than 400 votes. “These bills will increase access to capital,” Dold said referring to new . “He (Reid) won’t allow a vote.”
Jim Kucienski, a Northbrook Rotarian, wanted to know Tuesday what Congress was going to do to make sure the financial meltdown in 2007 and 2008 does not happen again. Though Dold talked about some of the partisan roadblocks, he explained his position on regulation.
“We need regulation. We don’t need excessive regulation,” Dold said. “Existing laws were not followed,” he added referring to some of the excesses which led the mortgage crisis. His idea of appropriate regulation might allow different rules for community banks than those imposed on larger institutions.
“One size fits all does not work,” Dold said referring to the Dodd-Frank bill. “There are still hundreds of rules to be written. Banks won’t hire when they don’t know the rules.”
One rule Dold would change is allowing banks to disregard some collateral provisions of the new law for performing loans. After the meeting, current on his mortgage recently asked to add equity to the property because it had fallen in value.
“You go to a bank to borrow money, not put more in to your business,” Dold said. “These are performing loans.”