Governors Are Fed Up, in a Bipartisan Way

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WASHINGTON: Turns out we have a third branch of the legislature -- and this one really wants the other two to get their acts together. In town for their winter meeting, the 50 U.S. governors welcomed their congressional counterparts back to work this week with a warning: Forget about that whole impeachment thing. "If the leaders of either party use the impeachment issue for political purposes in coming months, they need to have their heads examined," said newly reelected GOP governor John G. Rowland of Connecticut. "The American people are sick of it. It's over. Good-bye."

Of course, the American people could have told them that, and repeatedly did, but one thing the governors love to do when they get to Washington is remind the Beltway-elects how "in touch" they are out there in the real America. But will Congress listen this time? TIME congressional correspondent John Dickerson is optimistic. "It could turn out to be a real bipartisan lovefest," he says. "The odd senator will miss all the attention, but a lot of them, especially in the House, sincerely want to get back to what they came to Washington for: infrastructure bills." What if they don't? Republican governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma had a doomsday scenario for his two-party colleagues: "If Republicans and Democrats don't address the concerns of the ordinary citizen, there will be a lot more independent candidates like Jesse Ventura." Enough said.