In light of the pervasive disharmony between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I appreciate Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, extending reciprocal invitations to visit their respective congressional districts in an effort to gain an understanding of each other’s perspectives on issues affecting their constituencies ("Chaffetz takes a Dem deep into the red Utah," August 5).
Rep. Cummings’ remark that Washington bureaucrats should "feel a level of respect and dignity" for those whose opinions may differ from their own shows a level of insight and empathy not often voiced by our representatives.
Rep. Chaffetz visited Baltimore, Rep. Cummings’ district, in June, where he observed urban poor trying to better themselves by learning new skills, heard senior citizens relate the value of Social Security and spoke with AIDS patients receiving care in a clinic. I would be most interested to hear Rep. Chaffetz’s comments during his visit to Baltimore to see if they mirror Rep. Cummings’ empathetic understanding of another person’s point of view.
Hopefully, the effort made by these two representatives to broaden their perspectives is a harbinger of renewed spirit of cooperation in Congress.
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