Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
GETTING AROUND THE PLEDGE: Senate Democrats are proposing allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of the year -- and then voting on a tax cut in January. That way Republicans wouldn't have to break Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Lawmakers shouldn't have to jump through hoops to pass necessary legislation. Members of Congress should take no pledge but the oath of office: Jonathan Weisman for The New York Times: Democrats Propose Plan to Sidestep Anti-Tax Pledge
HYPER-PARTISANSHIP IS A RESULT OF ... DUMBNESS? "I think the people [on Capitol Hill] are getting dumber," retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman says. Is it possible that the hyper-partisanship crippling Washington is a result of dumbness? That's what Kathleen Parker posits in her latest column: Kathleen Parker for The Washington Post: How to get smart: News literacy programs train readers to look beyond infotainment
SHUTDOWN FEARS: Top congressional Republicans are figuring out how to avoid a government shutdown fight at the end of the fiscal year, believing a repeat of last year's budget battles would be devastating to the party in the elections: Jake Sherman and Manu Raju for POLITICO: GOP fears shutdown showdown
WHO CAN FIX THE ECONOMY? Is it Congress' responsibility -- or the Federal Reserve's? Congress is gridlocked and Sen. Chuck Schumer says responsibility falls to the Fed. But that's not enough. This country needs -- and deserves -- a working Congress in order to move this country's economy back to where it belongs: John Carney for CNBC: Congress, Not The Fed, Needs to 'Get to Work'
THE WAY CONGRESS SHOULD WORK: Across-the-aisle cooperation is not dead. Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bobby Schilling don't agree on everything -- or even most things. But there are some things they do agree on, like fixing things within their state. In addition, conservative southern Republican Jack Kingston and liberal midwest Democrat Betty McCollum are working together to question the military's spending on NASCAR advertising.
THE DAILY BREAK: Political screaming has overtaken problem-solving as the norm in Washington. Now there's a website where you can see what it's like. Check out Political Screaming Match.