Problem Solvers Secure Provisions Within House Rules Package To “Break the Gridlock” in Congress
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Monday, January 4, 2020, Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Tom Reed (NY-23) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) released the following statements regarding the rules package for the 117th Congress, building on the reforms made by the Problem Solvers to the House rules last Congress.
"It’s time to make it easier to get things done for the American people, instead of the same old obstructionism. The rules package for the new Congress includes new reforms crafted by the Problem Solvers Caucus, as well as reforms we fought for last Congress. Together, these reforms will help break the gridlock and promote bipartisan, bicameral governing," said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). "To solve problems, we have to work together to actually govern and to deliver legislation that can get signed into law — from lowering heath care costs, to fixing our infrastructure, to helping our nation through the COVID-19 pandemic."
“While there are broader disagreements regarding the 117th Rules Package, we are pleased to see the package include the continuation of the Problem Solvers’ consensus calendar and new rules to allow members to demonstrate support for Senate-passed legislation,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Tom Reed. “We will continue to advocate for additional reforms because each of these changes represents important tools in the fight to end gridlock, reform Congress, and change Washington for the better.”
The two PSC-related provisions are detailed below:
Continuation of House Consensus Calendar:
- Fully preserves the Consensus Calendar, a procedure that is strengthening member’s voices and expediting consideration of measures with broad support. Once a bill receives 290 cosponsors, a clock begins for consideration of the bill. The Consensus Calendar was originally proposed by the Problem Solvers Caucus and passed in last Congress’s rules package.
Support For Senate Measures:
- Changes House Rules to enable House members to formally support Senate measures tracked by the House Clerk and posted on Congress.gov.
In December, the Problem Solvers Caucus officially endorsed two proposed changes, including the 290 Senate Consensus Calendar for Senate bills to the rules of the U.S. House spearheaded by Congressman Van Taylor (TX-3).
“While the 117th rules package leaves much room for further progress, efforts to break down the cameral and partisan barriers, such as a mechanism for House Members to signal support for Senate-passed bills, should be encouraged. I am proud of the work the Problem Solvers Caucus brought forth and look forward to our continued work to restore individual power to Members representing their constituencies,” said Rep. Van Taylor (TX-3).
“Even in these difficult and divided times, our Caucus continues to demonstrate that Republicans and Democrats, can and must work together to get things done,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi (NY-3). “We must continue to try and promote bipartisanship in both the House and the Senate. The problems we face are too great and the people we represent demand and deserve our best efforts.”
“Congress is broken – that’s no secret. Too often good ideas fall victim to partisan gridlock and petty bickering. Congress must be more effective at helping the American people, and these specific rules the Problem Solvers Caucus supports will help this institution work better as we all aim to find solutions to the great challenges facing our country,” Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6).
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 50 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).