October 17, 2023

The GOP-led House is in chaos. Bipartisanship is the only path forward.

As the world faces new and ongoing threats to peace and democracy — from the war in Ukraine to the violent terrorist attacks on Israel — the United States should stand as a beacon of hope and freedom. Yet, Republican chaos in the House of Representatives is threatening our global standing.

The American people and U.S. allies deserve better than the chaos of House Republican leadership. Over the last two weeks, the House has convened for less than 20 minutes. Without a Speaker, we cannot vote on critical military and humanitarian aid to our allies and legislation to fund our government for the next year. Through it all, Democrats have stood ready to work across the aisle to pave a path forward. Yet, the GOP has, time and again, refused to come to the table.

This is unacceptable. The House needs to get back to work, and the only way to move past the dysfunction is to change course by reforming the institution to allow for bipartisan progress.

Now, the GOP Conference plans to move forward with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as their nominee after their first choice, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), was forced to withdraw his bid just two days after winning the nomination due to Republican infighting.

Let me be clear: hyper-partisan lawmakers who stoked the chaos and division that has paralyzed the House of Representatives for months and led to the Jan. 6 attack on our U.S. Capitol have no place serving as Speaker. That includes Jim Jordan.

The American people deserve a Speaker of the House who knows how to get things done and can work across the aisle to deliver for our country — that person is not Jim Jordan.

Responsible lawmakers on both sides of the aisle must rise to the challenge and overcome the hyper-partisanship and dysfunction that has stymied Congress.

The New Democrat Coalition — a group of nearly 100 members committed to breaking through partisan gridlock — is dedicated to delivering results for the American people.

Our Coalition’s foundational objective is to work across the aisle to govern from the center, and we take no pleasure in witnessing the disarray of the House Republican Conference. This is a solemn moment for the institution, the nation and democracy.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. We have the chance to build a bridge between the parties and rebuild the trust and respect for each other that we need to govern effectively. We need a Speaker who can build that bridge, someone who refuses to cave to a handful of extremists and is dedicated to legislating from the middle out. 

Congress has so much to accomplish before the end of the year — from funding the government and passing a farm bill to supporting the security of the American people and our allies abroad — and we can’t get it done if we don’t work together. 

Unprecedented moments call for extraordinary actions. Democrats are open to an agreement with Republicans that would restore the ability to govern in the House of Representatives. 

As a group of lawmakers dedicated to delivering durable, bipartisan solutions, the New Democrat Coalition is prepared and positioned to build a bipartisan governing Coalition to find a path forward. The American people elected us to solve problems, not create them, and that is what we are fighting for every day. 

In order for this vision to become a reality, responsible Republicans must abandon the partisanship and come to the table with Democrats to find an agreement that moves us forward, not backward. That starts with changes to the hyper-partisan House rules that have made the GOP conference ungovernable. 

New Dems will continue to extend the hand of bipartisan cooperation — but it’s on Republicans to accept our olive branch. Our job is to make this institution work for the American people, and that’s exactly what we will continue to do. Let’s put people over politics, once and for all.

By:  New Democrat Coalition Chair Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Source: The Hill