The mayor of Iowa’s largest city suggests the partisan stalemate in the nation’s capitol is damaging the country’s ability to function. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is in Florida, attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“We all struggle with the lack of any decision-making, shall I say…in Washington,” Cownie says.
Cownie suggests members of congress could learn something from the way mayors operate.
“I’m in charge of pot holes and I’m in charge of public safety and parks and libraries and stuff like that and we serve all the people — Democrats, Republicans and non-parties, occasionally a few communists and socialists, too,” Cownie says. “We don’t ask people what they are and who they are when they walk in the door. We try to take care of their problems and their needs.”
Cownie says it’s time for the two political parties to come up with a federal budget. Cities can’t avoid making those kind of decisions, he says.
“We can’t stop and say, ‘We’re not going to pass this or pass that because, you know, we can’t agree.’ Our constituency doesn’t stand for that,” Cownie says. “And quite frankly, I think it’s time we have that sort of same discussion with Washington and say, ‘Hey, roll up your sleeves. Somebody may be a bloody nose, but, you know, come up with a deal.'”
The Des Moines mayor says it’s time for the decision-makers in Washington, D.C. to “take off” their Republican and Democratic Party hats and start making bipartisan deals. Cownie endorsed Barack Obama shortly before the 2008 Iowa Caucuses and attended a recent Obama campaign rally in Des Moines.