Life as a freshman back-bencher in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives can be frustrating. New members come to Washington in January, see how legislation is really crafted and deals really struck, and are a bit disillusioned by the early spring recess.
Almost on cue, a group of 20 House freshmen wrote the chamber’s GOP and Democratic leaders requesting their collective voice “must be heard” on budgetary and fiscal matters. For now, all these frustrated lawmakers want is a meeting.
“We are hopeful that the Senate and House of Representatives will agree to a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014, and we believe our voices – and those of our constituents — must be heard during this important process,” the lawmakers, primarily Democrats, said in the March 21 letter.
The lawmakers tout their “fresh perspectives” and “genuine desire to find common ground,” and pointed out they “were sent to Congress by voters frustrated with partisan gridlock and dysfunction.” The House freshman class, they declare the freshman class “has a critical role to play in bridging the divide between the parties and forging united solutions.”
The 20 lawmakers do not lack confidence. But, for now, a meeting will do.
“We write to request,” the lawmakers state, “that you meet with our freshman class to discuss our shared vision for the federal budget.”