Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
WILL CONGRESS PUNT TO 2014? "If Democrats pick up ground in the House and Republicans get closer to control of the Senate, both parties might decide its in their best interest to defer major lawmaking until after the 2014 election." Delaying progress for the past year in advance of this election was ridiculous enough -- and counting on a lame-duck session of Congress to actually work, is risky. But now, this potential punt could take congressional irresponsibility to new heights: J. Lester Feder and Matt Dobias for POLITICO: Post-election compromise may be more difficult
THE BARE MINIMUM: Here are the nine key issues that need solutions from Congress before the November elections: 1) Student loans 2) Postal service reform 3) Export-Import Bank reauthorization 4) National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization 5) Trade with Russia 6) Highway bill extension 7) Farm bill 8) FDA user fees 9) Keeping the government open after Oct. 1. Erik Wasson for The Hill: Nine tasks Congress can't avoid
THE DISCONNECT: Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) prefers to roll up his sleeves and get things done in Congress. But here's the problem: “I think that this is a huge election year and so there is a tendency to want to protect people from tough votes and these are difficult votes,” Boozman said. “You have to do what you think is best for your constituents and what’s best for America but that’s what you’re paid to be up here to do — to take those votes.” Members of Congress are paid to make America better -- and for Congress, it all starts with passing a budget and spending bills: Ramsey Cox for The Hill: Boozman reaches across the aisle for help on his Senate initiatives
A NONPARTISAN CONGRESS? Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) is fed up with gridlock in Congress and knows it's time for reform. Nebraska is the only state with a nonpartisan state legislature -- and Kerrey says when he was governor, progress was simpler because the legislature was not divided along party lines: Don Walton for The Lincoln Journal Star: Kerrey says non-partisan Congress may be needed
LUGAR'S SINS: What "sins" has Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) committed that leads to him being at-risk in tomorrow's Indiana GOP primary? For one, he's on speaking terms with some Democrats. Second, he had the audacity to find a solution on nuclear non-proliferation with the enemy: President Obama himself. Indiana: Tomorrow you have a clear choice between a guy who thinks there is too much bipartisanship in Washington and a proven problem-solver: John Avlon for The Daily Beast: Will Dick Lugar Be The RINO-Hunters' Latest Trophy?
OPEN UP THE PARTIES: San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher and former assemblyman and congressional candidate Anthony Adams have left the Republican party to become independents -- and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the party to open up the tent and bring them back in. The two-party system can work -- but only if problem-solvers are involved in both parties: Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Los Angeles Times: GOP, take down that small tent
INDEPENDENT VOTER REGISTRATION UP: In this year's eight battleground states with partisan voter registration, independent voter registration has increased by 5.8 percent, while the number of Democrats and Republicans have decreased substantially according to a new Third Way report: Michelle Diggles for Third Way: Independent Registration Outstrips Parties in Battlegrounds
AN INDEPENDENT RUN: The atmosphere is perfect for former Maine Gov. Angus King, an independent, to run for Senate. He is taking advantage of an opening left by Sen. Olympia Snowe's (R-ME) retirement, who cited partisan gridlock as the reason for her exit: Jonathan Weisman for The New York Times: Independent Senate Run in Maine Puts Parties in a Pinch
VIDEO OF NO LABELS IN MAINE: King and No Labels teamed up to put on an event in Portland, ME, at the end of April. Click here to watch the highlights.
STAT OF THE DAY: Only 8 percent of likely American voters think that Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Really Congress?! Rasmussen Reports: Congressional Performance: 8% Give Congress Good or Excellent Marks
ACTION OF THE DAY: Click here to email your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the No Budget, No Pay Act.