Sixth District U.S. Rep. Tom Price says that although Congress has a reputation for doing little or nothing, it recently managed to pass two important pieces of legislation.

One addressed health care for veterans through the Veterans Administration. The other extended the federal highway trust fund. The VA bill, he said, represents “the first time Republicans and Democrats have come together to allow veterans access to health care in their communities. It is a big deal.”

But he told members of the Sandy Springs Rotary Club on Aug. 18 that Congress remains split.

Sixth District U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) jokes with members of the Sandy Springs Rotary Club as Rotarian Jim Squire laughs along.

“Your Congress represents you very well as a nation,” Price said. “We are a very divided nation and your Congress is very divided.”

Price, who represents portions of north Fulton, Cobb and north DeKalb counties, faces an election challenge from Democrat Bob Montigel in November.

The congressman said Washington’s inability to get things done – a division so deep that the Republican-controlled House was considering suing the Democratic president – could take a toll on the country. “There’s a lot of cynicism out there right now and cynicism is the enemy of democracy,” Price said. “Cynical people say you can’t trust anybody.”

He did offer some hope. “The system is quite fine, if you use it,” Price said. “The problem is we’re putting artificial barriers up based on ideological belief. We’ve got to get back to following the rules of order.”

–Joe Earle