No Labels — a nonpartisan organization trying to break through partisan gridlock and get the government to function — today released its “Make Congress Work!” plan at a press conference attended by over 300 supporters, including eight lawmakers. The release marked the launch of a campaign to pressure the House and Senate Rules Committees to adopt the recommendations.
The 12-point plan includes withholding lawmakers’ salaries if they can’t come up with a budget, reforming filibusters, banning pledges except for the pledge of allegiance and the oath of office and requiring the president to come regularly to Congress to take questions from lawmakers. (The Alley‘s a big fan of British Parliament’s Question Time.)
“Congress is not working. Congress is not getting the people’s business done, and part of it is because labels have dominated,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said. “The spirit of compromise that has been necessary for our government to produce for our people since our country began is hard to find around here these days.”
Joining Lieberman on the panel were Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Robert Dold (R-Ill.).
The No Labels campaign follows in footsteps of other break-the-gridlock groups like Unity08, the failed attempt to create a centrist presidential ticket to compete with the Democrats and Republicans fronted by Sam Waterston of TV’s “Law & Order.” Waterson later called the effort foolishly impractical.
Read more: http://influencealley.nationaljournal.com/2011/12/no-labels-a-nonpartisan.php