Coming together

COMING TOGETHER: "If you ask them, Americans will tell you that they want constructive compromise and a more conciliatory political regime," writes Thomas B. Edsall. Yet hardly anything gets done in Washington. Our leaders need to come together and solve problems so that our country can move forward — instead of remaining mired in the same issues year after year. That's why the work No Labels is doing is so important: Thomas B. Edsall for The New York Times: The Center Cannot Hold
 
POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Despite projections that this year will be the least productive year in Congress, Americans believe Washington can turn it around next year. "The latest United Technologies/National JournalCongressional Connection Poll found people are optimistic about the odds that Congress can pass gun-control and immigration legislation in 2014. But respondents were decidedly more pessimistic about whether Washington could enact major fiscal reforms," writes Scott Bland. Although congressional approval ratings are at a record low and lawmakers have enacted few reforms this year, Americans remain optimistic that our leaders in Washington can solve problems — now, we need our leaders to live up to the promise: Scott Bland for National Journal: Somehow, Americans Think Congress Can Do Something in 2014
 
SOME OPTIMISTIC, OTHERS NOT: Lawmakers have differing opinions about the possibilities of reaching a fiscal deal. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers said Tuesday that he is “somewhat optimistic” about the chances of the budget conference committee getting a deal done. Ranking member on the House Budget Committee Chris Van Hollen feels differently, "Right now, the negotiations work by subtraction — in other words, people are taking things off the table. So, if you define success by narrowing the discussion, I guess that’s progress,” Van Hollen said Tuesday. “But you still have to resolve the narrow issues and that’s not resolved. The big issue on the sequester is coming to some agreement on the offsets. And there’s been no agreement on the offsets.”
 
DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY ON GRIDLOCK: Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter has his last day in that position today. In his closing remarks, he addressed how the gridlock in Washington affects our national defense: "It's unsafe, because it affects the readiness of the forces that would respond to contingencies. It's dispiriting to and unworthy of the patriots — military and civilian — who serve this government. But most seriously, it embarrasses us in front of friends and allies — and also potential opponents,” he says.
 
NO LABELS RADIO: New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin talked with Co-Founder Ron Christie about the promises that have not been kept on the Affordable Care Act this past Saturday on No Labels Radio.Listen to the conversation now.
 
 
ACTION OF THE DAY: Forward Problem-Solver’s Daily to three friends and ask them to sign up byclicking here!
 
STAT OF THE DAY: Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averaged -25 in November, improving from -35 in October but still below the September index of -19: Alyssa Brown for Gallup: U.S. Economic Confidence Rises in November
 

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