January 3, 2019

Quick Takes (v31): Where are the Problem Solvers?

Quick Takes
My local paper had a short piece on the three minority House Republicans who voted for changes to the House rules today
rules changes today.

And it seems this is a very unusual circumstance; according to the article it's been 18 years since anyone crossed party lines to support rules changes at the start of a new Congress.

One of them was John Katko, who represents me in Congress. The other two were Tom Reed, who represents Corning NY, and Brian Fitzpatrick who represents Pennsylvania's district 1, near Philadelphia.

The three are members - actually, Reed is the Republican chair - of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of Dems and Reps who are committed to working together in a bipartisan fashion. They went along with the new Dem majority on the rules change because the changes, according to new House Speaking Nancy Pelosi,
will make it easier for bills to reach to the House floor, and allow for more votes on bipartisan bills. 
That thinking aligns perfectly with the goals of the Problem Solvers; their Dem members were instrumental in convincing Pelosi to incorporate their changes. You can see how proud and happy Reed is with the changes.
This vote isn't about partisan politics. It is about doing what is right for the American people. The reforms the Problem Solvers Caucus were able to get included in this rules package go a long way to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file Members to govern and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass. We are proud to walk the talk of reaching across the aisle to best serve the people who sent us here. 
Similarly, Katko said
I supported the Rules package before the House today because I stand firmly in my support for the set of principles put forth by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to make the House run more efficiently. Bills with broad support will not be considered quickly and the legislative process become more transparent. I am hopeful that with these changes, the institution will function in a more bipartisan manner. 
So what's missing here?

Well, that would be the rest of the Republican members of the Problem Solvers Caucus.

It seems to me that if they're really committed to 'walking the talk' of bipartisanship, this would have been an easy way for them to show it.

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