The nation's lawmakers have had little success over the past decade in tackling some of the nation's biggest challenges, and a big reason is the hyper-partisanship engaged in by both Republicans and Democrats.
So within that context, it seems only appropriate that a recent bipartisan push to increase their salaries after a decade-long freeze appears to be coming undone - due to a growing partisan split over the issue.
The pay issue has to do with the annual cost-of-living pay increase members of the U.S. House of Representatives are to receive each January - unless lawmakers vote to block it. Rank-and-file lawmakers make $174,000 per year, and the automatic COLA increase is $4,500.
The cost-of-living adjustment has been blocked since the beginning of former President Barack Obama's tenure. The mechanism to do that is annual legislation to pay for congressional operations, and Republicans have used that measure to cancel the COLA the past eight years.
Supposedly there was agreement among many House leaders that this year would be the year that lawmakers' pay would be unfrozen. However, some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are balking at the idea, including freshman Democratic representatives who face tough re-election campaigns and some Republican members who fear that approving a pay raise could mean tough sledding next year in GOP primaries.
In short, they fear that allowing the raise to go through could mean the voters will toss them out of office - a legitimate worry.
But the possibility of allowing the pay raise to go through unraveled even further when recently the National Republican Congressional Committee issued an email assault stating that Democrats in the House have accomplished nothing yet want "middle-class taxpayers to give them a $4,500 pay raise." Needless to say, the odds of a bipartisanship push for allowing the raise to go through got weaker from that point.
This could be labeled a shame that Republicans and Democrats can't work together and find middle ground on issues. But considering how partisanship has taken over in Washington, it also could be labeled just desserts.
Until our representatives in Washington from both parties can learn to put governing ahead of party politics, they don't deserve a raise.