Mixed feelings on 113th Congress
THE NEW CONGRESS IS READY TO LEAD: With a fresh start, the members of the 113th Congress believe they will be more successful than the last. The incoming members feel confident about their ability to work together, saying that they were elected to create solutions for America and that they want to reach across the aisle to work with the other party. Meanwhile, after being re-elected to lead the House, Speaker John Boehner told his colleagues, "If you have come here to carry the standard of leadership demanded not just by our constituents but by the times, then you have come to the right place.” It's encouraging to hear members talk about changing Congress but we need to see action from them.
OR THE NEW CONGRESS WILL BE MORE OF THE SAME: Not everyone is as confident though. Chris Cillizza says that the threat of primaries and tough votes in a few months will drive Congress back to the behavior of the last two years. Kimberley Strassel agrees, saying that the debt-ceiling fight will be dirty.
CLOWNS: To call Congress a "clown show" would be an insult to self-respecting clowns, says Eugene Robinson. "The very concept of decision-making was so fierce that our leaders could manage only to avoid hurtling to their doom, and ours, by deciding not to decide much of anything," he writes: Eugene Robinson for The Washington Post: Our clown-around Congress
CREATING FUTURE SOLUTIONS: Bob Woodward says that the fiscal cliff falls short of the long-term solution we need for this country. Woodward calls for both parties to be willing to put everything on the table to create a problem-solving atmosphere. "Both Democrats and Republicans need to circumvent the vulture politics of the day that demonizes the opposition. Obama and Boehner need to create a climate in which all involved can adopt the stylish accommodation of Ronald Reagan, pivot elegantly, kick themselves in the rear end and declare, Darn, did we do that?" he says: Bob Woodward for The Washington Post: Time for leaders to delegate on the budget
DIVISION STILL LIKELY: When asked about how No Labels can reduce gridlock in Washington, No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston said,"We’re placing our bets not only on the common sense but the desire of members of Congress to do a better job and function more effectively. Over time I think both of those forces can prevail." Olivia Ward for The Toronto Sun: New U.S. Congress is more diverse but still divided
CITIZEN ACTION TO END GRIDLOCK: Many citizens look at the gridlock in Washington and think that there is nothing they can do to help solve the problem, but William Becker point outs people can join "Make Congress Work" organizations including No Labels: William Becker for The Huffington Post: Congress in Contempt: Part 2
THE DAILY BREAK: Although yesterday was a special day for the new members of Congress as they got sworn in, kids stole the show on Capitol Hill.
ACTION OF THE DAY: Follow us on Twitter and retweet your favorite No Labels' tweet.
STAT OF THE DAY: The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in December, roughly meeting expectations. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.8 percent from 7.7 percent: Patrick Reis for POLITICO: Jobs grow but unemployment ticks up