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Problem Solvers Urge Leaders to Return to Regular Order

March 30, 2021 by TWN Staff
Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus as they unveiled their “March to Common Ground” COVID stimulus framework last summer.

WASHINGTON – The Problem Solvers Caucus is urging the Congressional leadership to return to regular order in the House, allowing for open debate on the House floor, committee hearings, and amendments.  

In a letter endorsed by the 58-Member bipartisan Caucus, including 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans, the group called for adhering to a deliberative and open process that will produce legislation through committee hearings, markups, and floor amendments.

In recent weeks, many bills have been fast-tracked to the House floor, bypassing committees; this, coupled with many closed rules, has constrained members’ ability to offer amendments and provide valuable input on legislation.

“We believe a return to regular order can help build the necessary support from both parties to enact meaningful, bipartisan legislation that creates new possibilities for Americans and addresses many of the challenges impacting our country,” the caucus wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week. 

“The best way to do this is by having a deliberative and open process that promotes transparency and allows members to help shape legislation through committee hearings, markups, and floor amendments. We should not be afraid to deliberate and debate,” it said.

 Given the narrowly divided U.S. House and Senate, a more open, deliberative process is key to getting more legislation from Congress to the president’s desk, the group said.

The Problem Solvers Caucus cited narrow majorities in the House and Senate and the importance for bills to gain bipartisan support to pass both houses and ultimately be signed into law by the president. 

They also noted that the recent rushed process in the House, with a lack of transparency and member input, greatly limits the potential for success for House-passed legislation to be passed by the Senate.

 The members closed by saying, “The opportunities are endless if we adhere to a process that reflects the best for all Americans — promoting member input, encouraging collaboration, and championing cooperation.”

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