Bonding over burpees

Bonding over burpees

There are so many reasons why Congress is a disaster. Here’s an underappreciated one: There are fewer true friendships between members of opposing parties than in years past.

But Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) have bucked that trend and forged an unlikely friendship that was instrumental in securing the recent military aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. While the extremes in their parties dominated the headlines with their hardline demands, Gottheimer and Mullin got to work, building on the bond they formed in the gym.

Despite their vastly different backgrounds – Gottheimer, a Harvard Law graduate and former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, and Mullin, a mixed martial arts champion and Trump supporter – they have worked tirelessly to find common ground. The friendship and mutual respect they forged over workouts helped them to work together effectively to advance their shared goal of supporting our allies abroad.

Thanks to their different connections – Mullin with former President Trump and Gottheimer with the White House and Democratic leadership – they could build a bigger coalition in support of Ukraine than either could do on their own.

This collaboration underscores why No Labels’ work is so important – when lawmakers put aside partisan differences and focus on shared goals, significant progress can be achieved that neither side could achieve on their own.

At No Labels, we believe stories like this should become the norm, not an exception. We are committed to fostering more of these cooperative efforts and encouraging our leaders to prioritize the nation's needs over party lines.