Former Defense Secretary William Cohen on Wednesday issued a blistering critique of the GOP-controlled Senate, scolding its lawmakers for “vegetating” instead of legislating.
The Republica former senator for Maine, who led the Pentagon under President Bill Clinton, told CNN their failure to tackle President Donald Trump was not a new phenomenon but one that stretched back at least a decade.
“Some of it has to do with external pressures, that of social media, talk radio, specific channels that have a particular view and then hammer that view home to the constituents who then pressure the members of Congress,” he explained.
“But you have to ask yourself. Why are you a senator? Why are you there? Are you acting out of sheer fear that if you speak up and take a position that’s controversial you’ll be punished?” Cohen continued. “If that’s the reason you’re in the Senate, to simply be safe and to play it safe, then you really, you really are undercutting what the role of that Senate should be.”
Earlier this week, Cohen was one of a bipartisan group of 70 former senators who signed an open letter calling out Congress for “not fulfilling its constitutional duties.”
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.