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No Pledge but the Oath of Office

Make Congress Work

The No Labels Action Plan to Change the Rules and Fix What's Broken


8 No Pledge but the Oath of Office

The Problem

One of the biggest barriers to solving problems in Congress is that many members literally sign away their ability to do it. A case in point: 238 House members have signed a pledge to never raise taxes. Another 110 members have signed a pledge to never cut any Social Security benefits. That's 80% of Congress refusing to even consider compromise on two of the biggest issues driving America's long-term budget deficits. Is it any wonder Congress can't balance our books?

These types of pledges have proliferated in recent years as a way for powerful interest groups to control members of Congress, and they've created a perverse dynamic in Washington. Members of Congress who stick to these rigid pledges are usually rewarded with more campaign cash and party support. Members willing to make tough decisions and think for themselves are punished with attack ads and primary challenges.

The No Labels Solution

It's time to cut the puppet strings that allow narrow interest groups to control members of Congress. Members should make no pledge but the pledge of allegiance and their formal oath of office.

This proposal simply requires members of Congress to individually change their behavior.


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Problem Solvers

  • Andy Barr
  • John Barrow
  • Mark Begich
  • Ami  Bera
  • Sanford Bishop
  • Diane Black
  • Bruce Braley
  • Julia Brownley
  • Larry Bucshon
  • Cheri Bustos
  • Tony Cardenas
  • Robert P. Casey, Jr.
  • Joaquin Castro
  • David  Cicilline
  • Mike Coffman
  • Paul Cook
  • Jim Cooper
  • Jim Costa
  • Rodney Davis
  • John Delaney
  • Jeff Denham
  • Charlie Dent
  • Sean Duffy
  • Elizabeth Esty

From the Blog

  • April 11, 2015
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    No Labels co-founders Steve Odland and Congressman Tom McMillen speak with Admiral Paul Zukunft about the Coast Guard's priorities, as well as Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about the economy.
  • March 24, 2015
    No Labels
    What could possibly cause the senators to stay up past their bedtime? The not-quite-yearly but still semi-frequent budget reconciliation.

No Labels National Strategic Agenda