American politics is more unpredictable than ever. Which makes it even more important to have a stabilizing force within our Congress; a bloc of elected officials who combine ideological independence and common sense with a willingness to reach across the aisle to get things done.
No Labels has inspired the creation of such a bloc. It is called the Problem Solvers Caucus and we believe it has the potential to fundamentally reshape American politics.
The Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus was created in early 2017 and features over 40 members—equally divided between Democrats and Republicans—who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation in the 115th Congress.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is now an independent, members-driven organization but its roots were planted by No Labels, which spent years building trust and relationships on Capitol Hill.
What began as informal “get to know you” meetings that No Labels organized for congressional members of both parties led eventually to more substantive cooperation across the aisle, including the introduction of nine bipartisan bills to reduce government waste and inefficiency and the passage of the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. These regular bipartisan meetings also played a key role in building support for the Medicare “doc fix” in 2015.
Many current members of the Problem Solvers Caucus had previously signed a resolution in the 114th Congress (H.R. 207) calling for both parties to unify behind No Labels’ National Strategic Agenda centered on four goals:
At the beginning of the 115th Congress, some new members of Congress, as well as many existing members saw an opportunity to turn their informal bipartisan cooperation into a members-driven organization — and the Problem Solvers Caucus was born.
We can’t let party affiliation be the enemy of productivity and progress. At some point, the nation needs its leaders to place loyalty to the country ahead of loyalty to the party. True leaders don’t just point out problems. They solve them.Margaret KimbrellNo Labels Executive Director
Now more than ever, America is a divided nation. After a divisive election, some are elated with the outcome, while others are angry. And many are wondering how our nation can possibly heal after a historically bruising campaign.
This is a moment that will require leadership, not just from our president-elect but also from Congress. This is a moment where leaders must pivot quickly from a hard-fought and divisive campaign to the hard work of governing.
On December 5, 2016, No Labels hosted 1787: Constructing the Peace After the War, which featured two gatherings enabling leaders to seize the post-election moment and jumpstart a long overdue national conversation focused on bipartisan problem solving.
1787 is of course the year in which our Founders wrote the Constitution. In 1787, America’s leaders put the national interest ahead of personal, partisan or parochial interest.
During the day, No Labels hosted a working meeting featuring business leaders, members of Congress and thought leaders from across the country. These leaders focused on how to strengthen our movement of common sense problem solvers and weaken the influence of the political extremes.
This event offered a critical opportunity for the American people to see and hear our congressional leaders discussing key issues and setting a new tone for the country as a new president prepares to take office.
It is time for the permanent campaign—in which our leaders conclude each election by immediately preparing for the next one—to end. These 1787 events displayed an opportunity for America’s leaders to embrace a new way. To begin the next president’s term focused not on tearing down the other side but on building America up.
1787 can be viewed here.