The Importance of Congress

According to James Q. Wilson, “If you are like most Americans, you trust the Supreme Court, respect the presidency (whether or not you like the president), and dislike Congress (even if you like your own member of Congress).  We see the members of Congress as broken, the ones never able to come to a compromise, and the ones constantly wasting money, time, resources, and energy. None of us can deny that Americans are constantly blaming Congress for every hardship our country is forced to endure, from economic troubles, to the deficit, Congress receives the brunt of everything.  It is almost as though Congress has become our country’s scapegoat, when we do not know whom else to blame. We all also fear that Congress has become corrupt, and the representatives are only in it for their own benefits.

But why is Congress the group that we blame the most? Is it because Senators and Representatives are the closest things to us, our only links to Washington, or is it actually because our country’s downfalls are due to their mistakes?  It may be that all of our problems are because of Congress, or it may just be that the actions of Congress are made more known than the actions of the President or Supreme Court.

Through my readings, I have come to realize that Congress may be much more important to our country than any of us believes. I have also come to understand that maybe Congress should not be blamed for as much as it has been, and should receive more credit than it has been given.

In this week’s unit, we have participated in modules and watched videos focused on informing us on Congress’ role in our everyday lives. From the videos I learned just how much time and energy Congressmen and women put into all that they do. They truly do have their constituents’ best interests at heart, in every decision they make. When we believe that Congressmen and women are just arguing, they are actually doing their best to please every person that makes up the American population. Although it may take a while, they are dedicated to discovering compromises. I also saw how dedicated they are to bettering their communities. From the modules I learned that Congress has an effect on the medication we take, water and milk we drink, clothes we wear, and the roads on which we drive. Before participating in these modules, I never realized how much of an effect Congressmen and women have on my everyday life, on the little things that make up my day.

I have learned that there is much more to understand about Congress than what meets the eye. Congress is not just made up of Republicans and Democrats in constant argument; in fact, it is an extremely complex system, more so than I ever understood. Congress is made up of numerous subcommittees focused on taking many different opinions, ideas, and beliefs, putting them together, and forming ways to better our country.

Maybe Congress actually does need to do a much better job, or maybe they could just use a bit of motivation or support from the American people. Everyone needs to be reminded just how much Congress does for each and every one of us. We all fail to appreciate the hard work that the representatives put in to better their communities. However, we must all remember just how important Congress is to not only our country as a whole, but also to every individual life. Next time you begin to blame Congressmen, ask yourself,  “Would I be drinking this clean water if it weren’t for them?”



  1. Very thoughtful post Julianne! I had never really thought of Congress in that light before. Thanks for making me assess my knee jerk reactions!


    • Hello, Heather!

      Thanks so much for reading. I am so glad I was able to put Congress in a new light for you.



  2. Nice blog post Julianne! I think you covered a lot of ground in thinking about what Congress members do and public perception. Elected officials are often very different in front of cameras and the media than they are on a personal level in their home districts. I think how they act in front of the media is often dictated by party needs and concerns. When it comes to blame, I think part of the reason people misplace blame on Congress and other elected officials is because not everyone knows the complexities of how government works. For example, a resident upset about a new state law blaming Congress or the President, when they should be looking to the state legislature or governor for redress. The same goes for something like a pothole ridden street in a town, where the mayor or city council has jurisdiction to make immediate change. I think if more people understood how government works and feel empowered to influence the decision making process, they will feel less cynical and more engaged.

    This doesn’t directly relate to U.S. Congress but the UK Education Services Department created a game that teaches people what it’s like to be a member of Parliament for a week. There are a lot of similarities between what MPs and members of Congress do and it was a good reminder of how busy they are. Here is a link to the game:


    • Hello, Jamie!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I also really appreciate all the extra information you have provided me with.

      I completely agree with all the points you have brought up. The American Government is truly so much more complex than most understand.

      Thanks again for posting!



  3. Hi Julianne, great post! after reading this it helped me put my thoughts about congress into words, meaning what you said helped me understand my own thoughts. but i have to ask, which side do you believe concerning congress?


    • Hello Mr. Leslie,

      I apologize for my delayed response, but I thank you for commenting.

      Although I have come to realize that Congress does do a lot for the American people, I still believe that there is progress to be made. I don’t necessarily believe that Congress has been on its “best behavior” lately, and Congress people need to do a better job of proving to all of us that they have the best interests of the American people at heart.

      Thanks again for commenting, it’s greatly appreciated.



  4. Hi Julianne, I really enjoyed your post and believe that the stand you took is a very good one to take concerning the importance of congress but I worry about the separation that currently exists in congress. Like you said congress does pour in hours of work to better the lives of the American people and without them our system of Government would not be possible. I do think that right now congress has a problem. Though they look out for the betterment of the American people, they are currently spending lots of their time looking out for their political affiliation and their own re-election. This motive has caused a great divide in congress and this divide is causing more and more time to be taken to complete their work. Though congress is necessary and helpful, its current nature should be a worry.


    • Hello, Nick!

      Thank you for your comment and all the points that you have brought up.

      I do agree with everything you have said. I do not think the Founders of our country would be pleased to see the current state of our Congress. I believe everyone, especially Congress, needs to be reminded of its true role.

      I also feel strongly that our Congress has the potential to do a lot good for our country. However, they are currently too divided to do anything that may possibly benefit the American people.

      Thanks again for reading!



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