Trent Lott

Opinion: 3 Ways to Defeat Dysfunction on the Hill
Recent bipartisan moves offer hope for a return to traditional legislating

Four years ago this month, we joined with 27 other Americans to release recommendations to reform how our government works, improve the management of our elections, and promote more civic engagement.

At the time, the Commission on Political Reform, or CPR, was grappling with how to enable our institutions to better function in an era marked by hyperpartisanship. We did not think the tone and dysfunction in Washington could get worse — and yet it has.

Lott: Competitive Contracting Provides More Transit at Lower Cost 

America’s transit systems, like many other public institutions, are caught in a squeeze between rising infrastructure and maintenance costs and declining availability of funds to meet those needs.   

How deep is the problem? Seventy-one percent of public transportation agencies saw flat or decreased local funding over the past year and 83 percent saw flat or decreased state funding. As a result, the American Public Transportation Association says that nearly eight in 10 agencies have had to cut service or raise fares or are considering either of those actions.

Lott and Dorgan: We Must Unify Now for a New Energy Era

Recent events across the country and around the globe — from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to the Japanese nuclear crisis, from deep-water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to West Virginia coal mines to Pennsylvania natural gas shale fields — remind us that every form of energy has risks, costs, benefits and liabilities. 

Yet these events are indicative of much larger global trends, including:

Legislation Aims to Cut Congestion

Each day thousands of people take to the skies and board airplanes that will take them on business or vacation travel. Quite a few even take to the air as a hobby. Air travel has become such a routine part of life that we often take for granted the immense infrastructure needed to ensure that our loved ones get to their final destinations efficiently and safely.

As the chairman and the ranking member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, we’ve understood for years that our nation’s