Speaking on the House floor last night, Rep. Erik Paulsen, D-Minn., said he was surprised at how much partisanship hinders legislative progress on Capitol Hill – especially compared to his experiences in the Minnesota State Legislature. Paulsen, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, made the remarks as part of a scheduled opportunity for freshmen Republicans to reflect on their time in Congress.
â€œI think a lot of being a successful legislator and making yourself a successful state, and now a successful country, is being able to build relationships to get things done and be results-oriented,â€ Paulsen said. â€œIn the Minnesota Legislature we were always allowed to offer an amendment to a bill as long as it was germane, just as you were mentioning a little while ago. But here in Congress we have to get permission to offer an amendment from the Chair of the Rules Committee or from the Speaker of the House. So itâ€™s a very closed process, and itâ€™s not an open flowing process where I think itâ€™s easier to breed partisanship.â€
Earlier in the evening, before giving a speech about the need to support small businesses, Paulsen said, â€œI think a lot of us, to be honest, are frustrated with the leadership around here that doesnâ€™t necessarily give us the opportunity to offer amendments, to offer change that Washington in particular I think really does need, the American people more than anything really need right now.â€