No Labels is a 501(c)(4) social welfare advocacy organization dedicated to activating citizens and organizing leaders around a new politics of problem solving. Specifically, No Labels has worked to cultivate a durable bipartisan bloc in Congress capable of pushing forward bipartisan legislation and pushing back on the extremes on both sides that are tearing the nation apart. No Labels took a big step toward achieving this goal when we inspired the creation of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus in 2017, which currently features 48 members, evenly divided between the parties.
Encouraged by the Problem Solvers Caucus’ ability to come together on tough issues, but frustrated by the refusal of House leadership to seriously consider these proposals, No Labels, in June 2018, announced The Speaker Project, a reform plan that proposes using the election of a new speaker of the House as leverage to make rules changes that would give bipartisan ideas a fair hearing and a fighting chance in the next Congress. On July 25, the Problem Solvers Caucus releases Break the Gridlock, which has the same goals and echoes many of the same proposals originally offered in The Speaker Project. Twenty Caucus members later commit to vote only for a House speaker who supports these rule reforms.
Shortly after the November 2018 midterm elections, the Problem Solvers deliver. On November 28, nine Democratic members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus announce they had reached agreement with likely speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership on an ambitious rules reform package that will create a rare opening for bipartisan legislation in the next Congress.
No Labels is engaged in a full-court press to support solutions-oriented leaders whenever and however we can. The single most important component of our effort is the engagement and mobilization of our citizen members across America.Too often, members of Congress are inundated with calls and emails from the angriest and most intransigent voices back home, almost always telling them to say “no” to something. We must help these members understand that there is a larger and equally passionate group of citizens who will show up at town halls, call and write congressional offices and support members who are willing to reach across the aisle.
There is one thing in particular you can do.
Help support and expand the Problem Solvers Caucus. If your member of Congress is a current member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, contact them and let them know how much it matters to you that they are collectively showing bold, bipartisan leadership. If your member of Congress is not a current member of the Caucus, contact them and encourage them to join.
Prior to the launch of The Speaker Project, No Labels developed several policy and procedural proposals to make our government work better and solve pressing national problems. We have previously developed action plans to improve the workings of Congress (Make Congress Work!), the executive branch (Make the Presidency Work!) and federal agencies (Make Government Work!).
In 2014, relying on input from citizens across the country, No Labels developed a National Strategic Agenda focused on four goals for the country:
- Create 25 million jobs over the next 10 years
- Secure Medicare and Social Security for the next 75 years
- Balance the federal budget by 2030
- Make American energy secure by 2024
In the 114th Congress, over 80 members of Congress signed on to congressional resolutions (H.Res. 207 and S. 199) endorsing these four goals. In 2016, No Labels also released its Policy Playbook for America's Next President, which included 60 specific policy ideas that could move the country closer to these four goals.
No Labels also works to influence the policy debate whenever we see opportunity to advance bipartisan policy issues in Washington. For example, we strongly advocated bipartisan health care reform in the wake of the Problem Solvers Caucus releasing their health care plan in 2017.
Unlike most political organizations, No Labels is less focused on specific policy outcomes and more on the dynamics which we believe will lead to better policy solutions out of Washington. That said, we’ve been proud when ideas first proposed by No Labels, including a law that prevents members of Congress from being paid when they fail to pass a budget (No Budget, No Pay), are signed into law. Most notable of all, in early 2017, No Labels inspired the creation of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, which today includes more than 40 members, evenly divided between the parties, who are working to get to “yes” on key issues while the rest of D.C. is stuck on “no.” This was an unprecedented development as no caucus like this—with members of both parties explicitly focused on finding bipartisan solutions—had ever before been created in Congress. Four times since 2017, the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus released or endorsed ambitious proposals dealing with health care; immigration and border security; infrastructure and gun safety.
We understand there are real philosophical differences between Democrats, Republicans and independents. And we don’t expect our leaders or No Labels supporters to check their principles at the door. But philosophy and principle have little to do with the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., where political games and pettiness increasingly drive the decision-making of our leaders. Too often, it’s not the quality of a leader’s ideas that matters, but the label—Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative—that he or she wears. You don't need to shed your identity to join the No Labels movement. You can be a proud liberal, a proud conservative, or a staunch independent. You just need to be open to the idea that people with different beliefs really can set aside the labels in service to making our government, and our country, work again.
No Labels has private donors from across the country, some big, some small, and all of them focused on cultivating and supporting political leaders who put country before party.
One battle at a time. While we are always turning up new talent and leadership working at the state level, for now we are focused on getting Washington back to work.