With Congress on the brink of another government shutdown, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus this morning released a joint statement calling for the passage of a “clean” continuing budget resolution, free of the hot-button partisan provisions that threaten to grind D.C. to a halt. As reported by CNN, this official position was adopted with the approval of more than 75% of both parties’ members of the Caucus, which features 40 members equally divided between the parties.
No Labels lauds the bold bipartisan stand being taken by Problem Solvers Caucus members—and is calling on others in Congress to follow the Caucus’ lead.
“The last thing Washington needs right now is another government shutdown. Neither party will win and the American people will lose,” said No Labels co-chair Sen. Joe Lieberman. “It takes real leadership to do what Caucus members did this morning—to reject the most intransigent voices in their own party and to instead come together around a common sense bipartisan solution. The Problem Solvers Caucus has created an opening for a compromise and now it’s time for others in Congress to follow their lead.”
The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus—which is co-chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D) and Rep. Tom Reed (R)—was created in January and features equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation across the aisle. The Caucus represents a model for the kind of leadership that No Labels has long advocated for and a necessary step toward the creation of a true bipartisan bloc that is able to cooperate on key issues and counter the fringes of each party.
The congressional budget process is once again breaking down because some in Congress want to jam ideological “riders” into spending bills that have little or nothing to do with funding the core functions of government. With their public statement today, No Labels believes that Problem Solvers Caucus members are offering a sensible and achievable way out of this budget impasse.
“Everyone should recognize how unusual—and welcome—it is for the Problem Solvers Caucus to release this joint bipartisan statement,” said No Labels cofounder Tom Davis. This is a moment when many in both parties are angling for maximum partisan advantage. But the Problem Solvers Caucus members recognize that allowing another government shutdown would just further undermine the public’s already low trust in Washington. Someone has to stop this endless cycle of polarization and that’s exactly what this Caucus is trying to do.”
Although No Labels commends the Problem Solvers Caucus for its bold bipartisan statement this morning, No Labels continues to believe that Congress must embrace more far reaching reforms to the congressional budgeting process. According to the Congressional Research Service, the average spending bill is 100 days late. This week’s continuing resolution vote is necessary only because Congress has once again proven unable to pass budget and spending bills in an orderly fashion.
That’s why No Labels advocates for far-reaching reforms like No Budget, No Pay, two-year budgets, capital budgeting and other budget reforms that can be found in a framework recently released by No Labels that can be found here. No Labels cofounder Bill Galston and Ryan Clancy are available today to discuss the outlines of these reforms and No Labels’ perspective on the continuing resolution.