Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
WHERE'S THE BUDGET? Today is the beginning of a new fiscal year, but it seems as though Congress has forgotten. By today, members should have passed a federal budget and all appropriations bills for the upcoming year. However, gridlock and hyper-partisanship have superseded responsibility and action. It does not have to be this way. Congress could pass the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would take away members' pay until they pass a budget and appropriations bills. Click here to sign our No Budget, No Pay petition to bring accountability back to Washington.
PLAYING TO POLARIZED BASES: Recent elections have shown that getting the party base out to vote is more effective than winning debates and arguments. While this may be good for winning elections, does it really put the problem-solvers we need in office? "When victories are increasingly assembled from coalitions of coddled partisans and scientifically-targeted special interest voters, politicians should be more willing to reach across party lines and embrace compromise. That would not please the base, but in today’s bitterly divisive politics, a bit more diffidence could go a long way," says Lexington: Lexington for The Economist: A mandate of slackers
BUDGET CUTS WILL HURT CYBER-SECURITY: With large cuts coming in January, most of the focus is on defense. But other areas are facing devastating cuts as well, including cyber-security. Members of Congress and President Obama have approved more than $300 million in cyber-security funding, but that could be cut dramatically. “On a bipartisan basis, there’s an understanding we need to put more emphasis on cybersecurity … and sequestration just comes along and just mindlessly cuts everything by the same amount,” says Rep. Mac Thornberry: Tony Romm for POLITICO: Cybersecurity could be casualty of sequester ax
NO NEED FOR DOOM AND GLOOM: Many people believe that America is in a downward spiral, but there are reasons to be optimistic including America's abundance of energy sources, our entrepreneurial spirit and our exceptional medical abilities. The main issue standing in the way is Washington. Members of Congress are continuing to cause gridlock affecting all aspects of American lives, and the lack of a budget along with no long-term solutions is slowing growth: Judd Gregg for The Hill: Future looks bright for America
HOW WE CAN END GRIDLOCK: No Labels Co-Founder Mickey Edwards believes that there is a path to problem solving that starts with the voters taking power away from the parties. In his book, "The Parties vs. The People," Edwards writes, "My aim is to open up the process to give American voters more choice and more voice, and to eliminate the partisan forces that limit options and dilute representation. I wish to restore democracy to our democracy. That is not as hard a task as it may seem: a few simple changes are all that’s required." Here and Now: Former Congressman Mickey Edwards Calls For Lawmakers To ‘Stop Fighting, Start Fixing’
FROM THE FIELD: Kristen, a teacher at New York City's High School for Math, Science and Engineering, is bringing a group of 20 students to the Meeting to Make America Work!
THE DAILY BREAK: Stephen Colbert has released a new book called America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t. Read some excerpts from the book here: Katie Glueck for POLITICO: Stephen Colbert looks at U.S.A. in new book
ACTION OF THE DAY: Not signed up for No Labels' Meeting to Make America Work! in January 2013? Click here to register. If you already have registered, forward the invite to one of your friends.
STAT OF THE DAY: 56 percent of likely voters think the nation is on the wrong track: POLITICO: Battleground Brushfire 2012