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Olympia Snowe: Why I'm leaving the Senate

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At www.washingtonpost.com

Two truths are all too often overshadowed in today's political discourse: Public service is a most honorable pursuit, and so is bipartisanship. the greatest deliberative body in human history is not living up to its billing. The Senate of today routinely jettisons regular order, as evidenced by the body's failure to pass a budget for more than 1,000 days; serially legislates by political brinkmanship, as demonstrated by the debt-ceiling debacle of August that should have been addressed the previous January; and habitually eschews full debate and an open amendment process in favor of competing, up-or-down, take-it-or-leave-it proposals. We witnessed this again in December with votes on two separate proposals for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

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