Departing senators warn: There’s a problem with the current state of politics

Departing senators warn: There's a problem with the current state of politics
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(CNN)As departing senators said their goodbyes to Washington, a number of Democrats and Republicans took the opportunity to express concern about the state of the Senate and the political climate. "All the evidence points to an unsettling truth: The Senate as an institution is in crisis," retiring Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah lamented in his farewell speech delivered on the Senate floor. Sen. Claire McCaskill , who was defeated in the November midterm elections, echoed that idea when she delivered her own farewell speech . "I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was worried about this place," she said. "It just doesn’t work as well as it used to." "Something is broken," the Missouri Democrat went on to say. "If we don’t have the strength to look in the mirror and fix it, the American people are going to grow more and more cynical." As senators who were either ousted in the elections or decided to retire and not seek another term reflected on their time in Congress, many expressed dismay at how divided Washington has become as lawmakers retreat to entrenched partisan positions that leave little room for compromise or common ground. Most of them spoke in the final weeks of the year, a time largely overshadowed by a flurry of last-minute legislative activity and an unsuccessful effort to stave off a partial government shutdown. But the shuttering of roughly 25% of the federal government appeared to help illustrate a common sentiment conveyed during many of […]

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