Problem Solvers Caucus Unveils 117th Congressional Priorities Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus unveiled its key priorities agenda for the 117th Congress. The eleven areas listed below are issues in which the 56-member Caucus, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, see a real opportunity for bipartisan lawmaking.
The Caucus’ priorities, which address some of the country’s toughest issues, include COVID-19 relief, infrastructure, broadband infrastructure, and immigration reform and border security, among others.
Problem Solvers Caucus Priority Agenda
~ 117th Congress ~
The twenty-eight Democrats and twenty-eight Republicans of the Problem Solvers Caucus have identified the following issue areas as some of our key priorities for the 117th Congress. With a narrowly divided House and Senate, the Problem Solvers Caucus will continue to work closely, across the aisle, and with both Chambers, to tackle some of our country’s toughest challenges with civility. These problems require bipartisan consensus and respectful collaboration to ensure long term solutions. Gridlock and partisanship will serve no one.
The following priorities merit bipartisan, bicameral cooperation during the 117th Congress:
- COVID-19: There is overwhelming support to ensure the country has the resources and authority to increase testing and enhance vaccine distribution and delivery. Quickly expanding access to the vaccine will help bring about an end to the Covid-19 pandemic throughout America as soon as possible. The Problem Solvers Caucus will build on the successes of the “908 Coalition” to suggest bipartisan policies to help rebuild our economy and get the American people back on their feet.
- Infrastructure: Despite strong bipartisan support for reinvestment in America’s infrastructure, years of gridlock have left our nation’s highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, broadband, and water and sewer systems in disrepair. This is an issue the Problem Solvers Caucus has led on since the 115th Congress and will work to pass a bipartisan, comprehensive infrastructure package. Doing so will help to revitalize our economy in the short term, while simultaneously positioning the country in the long-term to be a world leader in modern manufacturing, state-of-the-art technologies, and more.
- Broadband Expansion: Millions of Americans do not have access to reliable high-speed broadband, leaving ranchers, farmers, students, lower-income and rural communities, and other hard-working Americans at a disadvantage. Given the modern importance of connectivity, expanding access to high-speed internet will ensure all Americans can participate in the digital economy and utilize critical telehealth services.
- Small Business and Innovation Incentives: The small business community, the largest employer in the nation, was the hardest hit sector in 2020. We must provide support and incentives to help maintain and reopen small businesses that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same, innovation for next generation technologies and industries must be encouraged to provide opportunities for future Americans to prosper.
- Immigration Reform & Border Security: For too long, Congress has been unable to agree on real solutions to break the immigration impasse and more effectively secure our border. We must ensure we have a legal, reliable workforce pipeline for ranchers, farmers, and high-tech, high-skilled job creators. The Problem Solvers Caucus, for many years, has explored viable solutions to fix DACA, reform the visa system, address family separation, and boost border security. We plan to look for ways to turn past agreements into a comprehensive reform both sides can agree on.
- Debt & Deficit: While in a crisis, it is necessary to borrow to safeguard against deeper economic turmoil. However, our debt has now exceeded a hundred percent of GDP. Though recovery remains the priority, getting our fiscal house in order long-term and managing our deficit is also critical. By taking sound fiscal steps now, we can avoid unnecessarily exacerbating the deficit and ensure the nation will always be in a position of financial stability and strength for the next crisis.
- Health Care: Beginning in the 115th Congress, the Caucus identified and promoted several commonsense proposals to stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and reduce health care costs, especially the rising costs of prescription drugs. As we continue to recover from the massive strain COVID-19 has imposed on our health care system, additional help for patients and providers is desperately needed. We must act to contain the ever increasing health care costs in America.
- Labor & Workforce: Due to COVID-19, high unemployment continues to plague the nation. We must execute an immediate and precise plan to help get Americans back to work and develop the skills to ensure Americans are positioned best to prosper.
- Police Reform: In the 116th Congress, we worked to help reconcile the Justice In Policing Act and the JUSTICE Act to help find common ground. We plan to continue that important work in this Congress. Where possible, we should look for opportunities to support best practices in law enforcement while rightly addressing issues of racial injustice.
- Energy & Climate: Climate change is not a partisan issue. We can all agree there are numerous economic, technological, and environmental benefits to seeking alternative and efficient clean energy advancements, supporting technological growth, and developing sustainable resources practices to ensure energy security for future generations. The Caucus will continue to work to promote clean energy innovation and an-all-of the above energy policy to guide us into the future.
- Election Security: Safe, accurate and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy, and the stability of our government depends on robust security of our election infrastructure to protect against tampering or attack. Democrats and Republicans agree that all citizens deserve transparency and confidence that their vote counts.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 56 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).