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US Rep. Johnson Criticizes Colleagues From House Floor

Congressman Tim Johnson scolded his congressional colleagues Thursday, accusing them of preferring to play politics instead of addressing the nation's problems.

In a one-minute speech from the floor of the House, the Urbana Republican said the current session of Congress had been marked by "animosity and gridlock", and that the public was responding with a "level of anger" he had never heard before.

"We are gripped in gridlock because people on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers and in the White House, are more concerned with politics than in progress," Johnson said. "As our economy continues to stagger, our attention should be focused on putting people to work and providing stability in public policy. We can only do that through cooperation, compromise and civility."

Earlier this week, Johnson voted against a GOP bill that tied an extension of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits to construction of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and other unrelated elements. The congressman said the bill was guaranteed to fail in the Democratic Senate, and that leaders needed to come up with a measure both sides could support. In his remarks on the House floor Thursday, Johnson called on members of Congress to quote "do the business the people expect us to do, efficiently and in an adult-like manner".

Johnson previously promoted civility in Congress, by co-founding the Congressional Center Aisle Caucus, with Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York.

Categories: Government, Politics