No Labels Gets Problem Solvers Organized in the House
When No Labels launched our movement over a decade ago, with a gathering of over 1,000 citizens from all 50-states at Columbia University, we knew we had to pair our grassroots strategy with an inside Washington strategy.
It all started with just trying to get Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to talk to one another. It sounds so simple, but back then there was no forum in Washington where elected officials from both parties regularly talked to one another.
So we created that forum. We started hosting breakfasts and meetings with members to build relationships and talk issues. Connections started to form. Members started to pair up to work on small but important reforms like No Budget, No Pay. And then the members took the initiative to get organized and create their own Caucus.
With No Labels’ leadership, the Problem Solvers Caucus was born. Today, this Caucus is co-chaired by Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer. It counts over 50 members, evenly divided between the parties, several of whom have been so conspicuously courageous, that No Labels has mobilized our entire nationwide community to support them in their campaigns.
The House and Senate are 100 yards apart but we may as well be 100 miles apart given how little we talk to one another.
No Labels Builds the Bridge Between the House and Senate
Soon after starting our House outreach, No Labels also began a focused effort to organize a problem solving group of Senators too. And in early 2019, we hosted a meeting the likes of which no one had ever seen before.
We brought House Problem Solvers Caucus and Senate members—from both parties—together to talk about where they could find common ground. This “bicameral” meeting was so unusual in fact, that one of the senators at the meeting remarked, “The House and Senate are 100 yards apart but we may as well be 100 miles apart given how little we talk to one another.”
Among No Labels’ Senate allies, several emerged who have repeatedly shown they have the courage to put country over party, often bucking their party to advance major commonsense legislation. Just as we did with the courageous Problem Solvers in the House, No Labels has mobilized our nationwide members to support these Senators too.
An Entirely New Way to Govern is Born
In late 2020, No Labels’ bicameral meetings facilitated our first major commonsense breakthrough. Our congressional allies created the framework for a critical $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, with The New York Times describing them as “essential to the outcome, pushing Senate and House leaders of both parties into direct personal negotiations that they had avoided for months.”
Fast forward to today, and No Labels’ bicamerals – which are now conducted regularly via ZOOM – have become much more than a meeting. They’ve become the place where an entirely new approach to governance is being born. A place where rank-and-file members, frustrated by the breakdown of regular order and the refusal of their own leaders to compromise, are taking the initiative to forge their own solutions.
Even amid the worsening divisions in our politics, in 2021 and 2022, this House-Senate alliance built by No Labels managed to lead passage of the biggest infrastructure bill in sixty years, the first gun safety bill in 30 years and major legislation to invest in U.S. innovation and counter communist China.
In the 2023-2024 Congress, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate, there will either be two party solutions to America’s problems or there will be no solutions at all. That makes the Problem Solvers Caucus, our Senate allies and the bicameral meeting process No Labels created more essential than ever.