Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur on partisanship and responsibility in Congress

Scripps News spoke with Rep. Marcy Kaptur about how Congress has changed over her years of service.
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 13, 2024

Scripps News interviewed Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress and a member of the powerful House Appropriations committee. We talked about her tenure in Congress and what she sees as the top priority for lawmakers right now.  

How has partisan cooperation, or the partisan rhetoric, changed since you started?

"The [House] speakers back then and the Republican leaders, minority leaders, would roam the floor of Congress, talk to the members. They would sit in the cloak rooms on each side, the Republican [and] the Democrat, you could talk to them. It was very friendly. I remember it," Kaptor said. "And today, it's become a very busy institution ... But the relationships have broken down."

What is Congress' highest priority this year?

"We're behind in our work, or not on schedule, we are delaying the obvious in passing our various bills to fund the different departments of the government. And in terms of foreign policy, our enemies are winning, because we look like fools. And we are, because we can't get our business done. So I'm not exactly in a good mood about all of this, I have to grin and bear it. But I know how much better we can do. We did for many, many years of my service, and it has deteriorated.

"[We need to] do our work that the American people expect us to do and not delay major issues that are before us such as the refinancing of Social Security for the next generation, dealing with our friends around the world who are fighting for liberty and not putting them on pause while we figure out … whether we're going to help them or not."

Scripps News will share more of our interview with Kaptur later this week, including her advice for women thinking about jumping into politics and why she’s running for reelection again this year.