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When Jim Renacci lost his Chevrolet dealership in the federal government's orchestrated bankruptcy of General Motors, he decided to run for office. In 2010, he was elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio's 16th District, joining a wave of 107 newly elected congressmen, mostly Republicans, who vowed to change the way Washington works.
Yet almost from the day he arrived at the Capitol, Renacci encountered pervasive and entrenched dysfunction, perpetuated by both parties. During his next eight years in office, he became increasingly frustrated by the inability of Congress to get anything done.
What he saw was a system that wasn't working because no one has an incentive to make it work. Creating good policy, passing meaningful legislation, compromising with others in support of our democratic ideals -- these simply weren't priorities for most people working inside the Beltway.
As a successful businessman for more than 30 years, Renacci knew how to turn around struggling companies. He thought he could apply those same skills to ending runaway spending in Washington. Instead, he found many of his fellow congressmen unable or unwilling to understand the budgeting process and the long-term financial consequences of their actions.
Ten years after Renacci and his fellow lawmakers started down a path to change our government, many have left in frustration. And the situation in Washington has only gotten worse.
Now, Renacci takes readers inside the halls of government, offering a firsthand look at why and how Congress fails to do its job. Calling out his fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, Renacci pulls back the curtain on politicians' inaction and offers some solutions for getting the federal government working for the people once again.