Seeking Common Ground in the 113th Congress
Yesterday, I had the privilege of welcoming new lawmakers – both Republicans and Democrats – as they were sworn into the 113th Congress. A record number of woman and minorities were elected to this Congress and the House Democrats became the first caucus in the history of either chamber not to have a majority of white men.
Yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony came on the heels of a major bipartisan compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and, perhaps, another recession. But the partisan politics that prevented a bigger compromise sooner are deplorable. Compromise is difficult in a divided government, but we must work together every day for the good of our nation.
I believe there are areas where both parties can find common ground during the 113th Congress. We all agree that we must reign in government spending, drastically reduce the deficit and restructure entitlement programs. We can all agree on the need to support American manufacturing and innovation. We must pursue election reform to increase transparency and decrease the role of money in politics. We also all agree that we need to fix our broken immigration system and improve the safety of children in schools.
These are complicated issues, but, in one of our final acts of the 112th Congress, we proved that bipartisanship is possible. As we look ahead to the 113thCongress, I hope that such compromise will become the norm rather than the exception.