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Monthly Bipartisan Gatherings

Make Congress Work

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


9 Monthly Bipartisan Gatherings

The Problem

Flip on cable news and it quickly becomes clear that Democrats and Republicans in Congress don't like each other. Even more troubling is that they barely even know one another.

One former member of Congress recalled: "I took a Democratic House member who was a friend of mine to a Republican caucus meeting and as we walked around the room, it dawned on me that no one had ever met this guy, even though he was well into his second term in Congress."

After the Super Committee failed last November, another Republican member said he couldn't have picked one of his Democratic colleagues "out of a lineup" before the negotiation process started.

Although partisanship has always been and always will be a part of Congress, there was a time when members actually made an effort to build relationships with people from the other party. Today, they're more likely to glare at each other from the comfort of their partisan bunkers.

It's easy to demonize and hard to compromise with someone you barely know.

The No Labels Solution

Like any workplace, Congress depends on good human relationships to function. When there are no relationships, there's dysfunction. To get members talking to one another, both the House and Senate should institute monthly bipartisan gatherings. The gatherings would be off the record and not be televised. If both sides agreed, outside experts could be invited in to brief members on topics of concern.

This proposal can be imposed by House or Senate leadership.


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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
    No Labels
    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