Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
DUELING BASELINES: One of the major problems that came into play during fiscal cliff negotiations was each side using their own baseline for fiscal projections. Republicans used a baseline that assumed that all of the Bush-era tax cuts would remain in place, the Congressional Budget Office assumed the Bush-era rates would expire for everyone at the end of 2012 and the Obama administration used its own hybrid baseline. To fix this, No Labels has proposed that Washington receive a non-partisan fiscal report with facts that everyone can agree on: Steven Sloan for POLITICO: Fiscal cliff deal could end dueling baselines
COLLABORATION COURSE FOR CONGRESS? Sending newly elected members of Congress back to the classroom may be the way to go to get long-term solutions back to Washington. Classes on collaboration and working together have been effective in the private sector and it may be time to bring it to the public sector. "Even a slight shift from the current name-calling and hyper-partisan demagoguery toward mutually respectful language and behavior would be encouraging," says Cathy Wright: Cathy Wright for The Hill: Freshman orientation should include collaboration course
NEW WHO WE ARE SECTION: Check out No Labels' new 'Who We Are' section to brush up on the No Labels message.
SWITCH IN TACTICS: In negotiations, our leaders have been blaming the other side rather than trying to work with them. "What if, instead of dealing with opponents by demonizing them and distorting their views, we were to take some steps to persuade them? I don't mean to suggest that one could persuade a stalwart partisan to switch parties, but perhaps one could persuade another that a particular policy or a position is 'not as bad as you think,'" writes John Jenkins: John Jenkins for The Wall Street Journal: Persuasion as the Cure for Incivility
EXCITED TO BE A PROBLEM SOLVER: Rep. Reid Ribble believes that the way Washington is governing is not effective for the country. That's why he has joined the No Labels congressional problem solvers group. “They’re not asking anybody to put down or lay aside principles, but they want us to sit down together and act like grownups and have a conversation," Ribble says: Larry Bivens for The Oshkosh Northwestern: Ribble joins national movement for change in Washington
REFORMS NEEDED: With so many presidential appointments waiting confirmation from the Senate, there is a clear a lack of leadership in those positions and many decisions are being backlogged. It is a problem that Jonathan Berstein says has a solution. "Simple majority cloture on executive branch nominations should be something that both sides are probably willing to live with," he says:Jonathan Berstein for The Washington Post: The most urgent need for Senate reform
THE DAILY BREAK: Check out this year's Oscar nominations.
STAT OF THE DAY: With the fiscal cliff deal, there will still be an $85 billion sequester this year if the president and Congress can't come up with another agreement by March 1: Russell Berman and Jeremy Herb for The Hill: Boehner takes flak from defense hawks on sequester stance