The chairmen of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Republican Rep. Tom Reed of New York and Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, said they are looking to get past the gridlock in Washington.
The caucus initially thought health care was too partisan an issue, but in the wake of the GOP leadership-backed health care being pulled off the floor due to a lack of consensus in the Republican party, members are thinking they may have better luck working across party lines.
“As last week showed, we have a much better shot of making progress when we work together, across the aisle. There are plenty of issues — from tax reform to infrastructure — where we can find common ground if we are willing to sit down together at the table,” Gottheimer said in a statement. “The Problem Solvers Caucus stands ready to lead. We know how to find common ground to move the ball forward on the issues that matter to the American people.”
The group, which consists of about 40 members, said certain policy areas are “too important to take sides.”
“Because Americans are increasingly demanding solutions that will help all people, regardless of party, the Problem Solvers Caucus will carry influence in how we, in Congress, get past the gridlock to get things done,” Reed said in a statement.
While Republican leadership is hoping to bridge the divide on health care reform within the party — which would allow them to repeal and replace Obamacare using reconciliation, requiring just a simple majority in the upper chamber — some rank-and-file members say taking a bipartisan approach may be more effective.
“Those of us who remember that we were sent to Washington to solve problems and pass laws that help all Americans, reject taking the easy route to no and instead have pledged to work together to get to yes,” the lawmakers said.
President Donald Trump recently signaled he is willing to work with Democrats in an attempt to accomplish some of his agenda.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday the administration has heard from Democrats since the will was pulled willing to negotiate on a bill.
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