The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 11, 2013

No Labels has right ideas

Why it matters: Bipartisan group of elected leaders aims to make government work

For all the gridlock in Congress we see on TV and elsewhere, many Americans might be surprised to know there is a group of about 90 members of Congress making efforts to find bipartisan solutions to the real problems facing the country.

They deserve more recognition and support. They offer a sensible, credible and viable way to break Washington gridlock and provide solutions to America’s problems in the bipartisan way that the vast majority of Americans say they want. Most importantly, they agree to work together and compromise.

No Labels is a bipartisan group of elected leaders that has been quietly pushing an agenda that is aimed at breaking down the barriers to gridlock and proposing common sense solutions to America’s fiscal challenges. It has recently designated some members of Congress as part of a “Problem Solving Coalition” if they agree to some simple principles like working together, being accountable, and governing for the future.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Rick Nolan, both Democrats, have signed on as members of the group.

It seems simple – meeting with people you work with to solve problems – but this kind of cooperation has been sorely missing in Washington.

No Labels is a refreshing approach to governing. With 43 Democrats, 37 Republicans and one independent, No Labels “Problem Solvers Coalition” group has been meeting regularly with members of the other party to hear ideas, build relationships, talk about common goals and find solutions to some of the nation’s toughest problems.

Its efforts don’t garner a lot of media publicity like the conflict industry that derives its payola by fostering acrimony from most of the rest of Congress. But No Labels has captured public support for its way of doing business and some specific efforts. It now boasts membership of hundreds of ordinary people across the country. Major newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have mentioned the group’s efforts favorably.

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