The federal government is composed of three branches: the legislative, the judicial and the executive. I now believe that the legislative branch – Congress – has become the broken branch of our government.

Congress has been dysfunctional because it is incapable of compromising, and congressmen are more interested in representing their party than in representing the people of this country.

Many Americans think members of Congress spend too much time and money on their re-election, since most incumbents always win. Another problem is that the bills being passed contain pork-barrel amendments, which are for special interest groups and not for the good of the country.

The main job of Congress is lawmaking and to be the voice of the people, but our representatives appear to be more focused on themselves. Each senator and representative has loyalties to their party, rather than what is best for the nation. This, in my opinion, will eventually lead to a culture of corruption.

Unless people wake up and stop re-electing the same incumbents, America will never have a better and more efficient Congress.

Richard Bernard

Portland