Fred Keller and Dan Meuser, the Valley’s two congressmen in Washington, D.C., had disappointing weeks in the nation’s capital.

Certainly, they scored points with their party, but in terms of helping the Valley or setting a standard of decorum in the House they serve, their votes this week were fully partisan and wrong-headed.

In today’s political realm, they did their job. They avoided putting a target on their backs and fell in line.

It’s how Washington — and Harrisburg to a lesser extent — work now.

Keller, who represents the western portion of the Valley in the 12th District, and Meuser, who represents the eastern portion in the 9th, first voted against the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

It was a bill that is expected to put nearly $20 billion into Pennsylvania’s infrastructure. The funding is for rebuilding roads and bridges and improving airports. It was to boost cybersecurity and broadband, help clean up Pennsylvania’s drinking water.

Keller and Meuser voted against it. Politically, it makes sense; it represents a win for President Joe Biden, who has a tumultuous first year. The small group of Republicans who voted to support the infrastructure plan are now under attack. Some have been physically threatened, have had committee assignments dangled over them and the former president has now eyed them up for primary opponents, the king-maker ready to crown some followers rather than leaders.

The pair of local representatives also offered another no vote this week, voting against the censure of fellow GOP House member Paul Gosar, who disgustingly tweeted a doctored anime video depicting him killing fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York. Gosar was stripped of his committee assignments.

It was an easy vote, except when there is no room — or permission from party and caucus leaders — to allow conscience to creep in.

Gosar was so humiliated by his censure — which equates to a ceremonial slap on the wrist — that he retweeted the video after the vote.

To cap the week, they voted against the human infrastructure bill on Friday, which would have put millions of dollars into things like child care, education, housing and more. The legislation is far from done, with a real fight looming in the Senate.

Keller and Meuser are both in incredibly safe seats in the 12th and 9th, respectively. The only risk either have is that redistricting might cut into their territory, but it’s minimal risk because their counterparts in the state House certainly won’t draw maps that hurt GOP representatives.

Because of that security, perhaps we thought the two might do the right thing and vote for making America’s roads and bridges great again, or upholding a sense of decency we expect of our public officials.

We thought wrong.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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