Iowa is a purple state of problem solvers. We've earned our reputation through the years by being a competitive political state, where informed Iowans do their homework and vote accordingly. This ensures candidates earn a victory in their elections, whether they are running for the White House or the courthouse, and every office in between.
That's why, as an Iowan, I've joined No Labels, an organization focused on problem solving, instead of petty partisan politics. Iowa can lead the way into a new era of problem solving focused on the four goals of job creation, energy security, sustaining Social Security and Medicare and a balanced federal budget.
When you think about, in many ways Iowa was No Labels before No Labels was started.
That's why I'm excited both of our U.S. Senate candidates, Rep. Bruce Braley and state Sen. Joni Ernst, have agreed to be a part of the No Labels effort. Iowa is poised to become an example not just for other states, but also for Washington, D.C., itself to follow.
What does it mean to be a member of No Labels? Everyone involved in No Labels agrees that achieving the following goals is vital to future U.S. prosperity:
- Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
- Balance the federal budget by 2030.
- Secure Medicare and Social Security for the next 75 years.
- Make America energy secure by 2024.
Common sense, right?
In fact, the goals remind me of some of the common sense reforms we've achieved here in Iowa, expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, investing in job growth, expanding energy sources like wind and solar, all with a surplus and a balanced budget.
Oh, and by the way, these reforms were accomplished with a divided government, Democrats and Republicans working together.
Like Iowa, the Congress is currently made up of a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Republican-controlled House. Unlike Iowa, they haven't made real progress on issues of consequence in years. They struggle to do the basics, like pass budget bills.
What started as gridlock has become true dysfunction in Washington, and that's why No Labels was formed. That's why having Iowa — a true “Problem Solver State” — engaged in this process is so important.
Over the course of the coming year, No Labels will be developing a National Strategic Agenda that will help our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to be more like Iowa — where being purple doesn't mean being stuck.
The agenda will provide a policy roadmap, the “how” of how we can make progress and solve some of the nation's most pressing challenges.
Iowans of every political stripe should be proud that both of our U.S. Senate candidates are committed to bringing the National Strategic Agenda, and Iowa's brand of common sense, to Washington. Because of this, Iowa has already won, by encouraging our candidates to be bridge leaders here at home and in Congress.
Let history show that there is a new first in Iowa: The first state so dedicated to solving problems that we've bucked the national trend of partisanship and found a way to focus on shared goals for a better tomorrow for all of us.
Let the best candidate win, for we will all be winners when the National Strategic Agenda is a reality.