7 Issues Most Americans Agree On, But Congress Does Not

The United States may seem like a divided nation, but there are actually plenty of issues that people of all political affiliations agree on. The problem is that our own elected officials donít often care enough to listen.

If members of Congress were actually representing the people rather than private interests, hereís a list of issues that would be tackled immediately due to massive popular support:

1. NET NEUTRALITY

The days of net neutrality are currently numbered thanks to a FCC vote, and Congress seems hesitant to change the tides on this issue. The people have made their own opinion on this issue abundantly clear: 83 percent of Americans want to maintain net neutrality to keep an open and free internet.

Congress currently has a two-month deadline to act and save net neutrality. What are the odds that enough lawmakers will decide to listen to the overwhelming majority of people rather than the cable companies?

2.†TOSSING OUT CITIZENS UNITED

Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, it would a constitutional amendment to get the current, unlimited flow of money in politics back out again. The thing is, Congress very much has the support of the people to do that.

78 percent of Americans want to see Citizens United overturned, compared to just 17 percent who want to see it stand. For the vast majority of Americans, corporate money does not equal free speech, and they see how this bizarre interpretation of the law is seriously skewing our elections for the worse.

The Constitution hasnít been amended since 1992, but for something this important, itís worth it to rescue our electoral process with a much-needed update on the rules. Campaign spending is out of control and Americans need their voices to be heard.

3. GUN CONTROL

It seems like the gun control debate restarts every few months following the latest gun massacre, but change never comes. That shouldnít be the case, however: 66 percent of voters want stricter gun laws, sending a clear message that common sense restrictions on assault rifles arenít outside of the mainstream.

If thatís not a large enough margin, how about the 97 percent of Americans who agree that there should be background checks conducted on all gun buyers? Itís almost impossible to get people to agree that overwhelmingly, yet NRA money seems to block even a modest reform like that.

4. EDUCATION FUNDING

With all the talk about redirecting tax dollars toward private and religious schools, most Americans would not like to see that happen. 86 percent say education money is best put toward our existing public education system to improve local schools, and theyíd like to see more money put toward this effort, at that. Alas, conservatives in Congress (and the White House) seem to be running in the exact opposite direction.

5. BACKING DREAMERS

Congress couldnít reach a compromise on immigration and DACA recipients in recent weeks, which is extra outrageous when you look at the poll numbers. 79 percent of Americans want DREAMers to be offered a pathway to U.S. citizenship and 83 percent would like to see undocumented immigrants legalized rather than deported.

Oh, and itís probably worth mentioning that those numbers come from a recent Fox News poll! Taking care of immigrants, especially children brought to this country by their parents, is hardly a partisan issue anymore Ė at least not to those outside of Congress.

6. TAXING THE WEALTHY

80 percent†of Americans are either bothered a lot or somewhat (most said ďa lotĒ) by corporations not paying their fair share of taxes. 78 percent of Americans had the same feeling about wealthy individuals.

That poll came out prior to Congressís latest tax reform legislation, too. Republicans pushed through an agenda that offered massive tax cuts for the corporations and wealthy, even though most Americans already thought they werenít paying enough as is. Itís clear the lawmakers are listening to their donors rather than the majority of their constituents.

7. CONGRESSIONAL TERM LIMITS

Itís hard not to put some of the blame on congressional gridlock on the fact that legislators get elected and then hold their seats for decades to come. Maybe some fresh blood would lead to new ideas and, gasp, compromise.

A lot of Americans tend to agree with that sentiment, with 75 percent†of adults indicating that theyíd like to see term limits applied to the U.S. House and Senate.

Good luck getting Congress to pass such a thing, however. Many of them count on their public service as a lucrative career.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

87 comments

Mary B
Mary B5 months ago

Oh, and when I say parties, I mean something more like areas of interest. Business, labor, health care, education ,design and engineering of infrastructure, eco-systems, peace keeping , foreign policy, food production. They are all separate but must work together to stay in balance. A culture based on co-operation, not competition.

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Mary B
Mary B5 months ago

Dan B, there would be elections but of individuals, not parties with competing ideologies where the Winner takes all and has to undo the what the other did. The basic assumptions of what everybody needs, [clean air water soil ] No torcher of animals, or people. Humain farming , transport and slaughter of all food animals, basic safety , health care, education, police intervention. well kept infrastructure, you know, the kinds of things we ALL use and need. And if there are those who still act like destructive idiots, they would be stopped and ways would be found to deal with them .Instead of the focus being on winning and who controls the money, it would be on how efficient,and better , streamlined, and useful goods and services could become. Some things would be tried and sent back to the drawing board. Basically common sense things that would benefit us.

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Angela G
Angela G5 months ago

Jill Stein was not the peoples choice

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Mary B.,
If there were no elections, how would we decide who gets to enact legislation and spending?

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Mary B
Mary B5 months ago

Dan B, but if we CHANGE the structure of government so we have No elections, there would be efficiency and parties ,more than 2 with the goal of GETTING THINGS DONE, not foot dragging and playing win/lose "bring in the popcorn mentality. so it could very possibly move much faster. Most are just so habituated for things working the way they do now, they think it will always be like that. Daily accomplishment has a different energy than always resisting and fighting. The first feels good, the latter, frustrating. Try keeping up with enthusiastic young people on a mutual mission.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Mary B.,
They would not be gone for good. They could run in the following election. At the pace our government moves, they should be able pick up right where they left off.

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Mary B
Mary B5 months ago

Dan B, I agree. Do away with elections [as we know them], but there needs to be exceptions so that those who are doing really neat things can stay untill they feel their ideas have been implemented enough to see the results .Then if they want to take a break or retire completely , some one else can arise from their local community and submit an application. Sort of a combination of private citizen with in a socialist democracy with the focus always on the well being of the most people and making sure the needed jobs get done efficiently in job sharing so everybody gets experience and decent pay and can switch around. Add to that a garenteed living wage monthly stipend, untaxed , for all 18 and over.And before anybody goes apeshit over that, remember the amount of money going into the economy is the same whether it comes from a job supplied the usual way, or direct from the treasury. Those who have no formal job would be free to do volunteer work, be stay
at home parents, make something up, what ever, but keep their nose out of the business of others unless they are doing harm. We don't need to be undevided . We just need to agree to get along.

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Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons5 months ago

If the dreamers are here illegally either give them a legal process to go through or deport them. If they are here Illegally then they are illegals call them what they really are.

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Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons5 months ago

I wouldn't say everyone agreed. I don't think gun control will help there are already millions of guns out there. No "meaningful" gun control is going to make them go away or keep them out of peoples hands. To think otherwise is delusional wishful thinking.

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Dan B
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Mary B.,
I would like to eliminate re-election altogether. Each member could serve unlimited terms, but never the same seat in back to back elections. This would work great in the Senate, where the turnover would be one-third. The House night get chaotic, but members start running for re-election halfway through their term anyway.

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