The No Labels Congressional Problem Solvers group has been officially announced in New York City. Led by former Utah Governor, Ambassador to China, and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin; four senators and 21 representatives, are now publically committed to putting the interests of the country before special interests and political security.
No Labels is a national group of over 600,000 individuals committed to ending the hyper-partisanship that is preventing Congress from addressing the many problems facing this country. Today, 1,300 of those individuals were joined by 11 of the 25 "Problem Solvers," all stressing the need to put rhetoric aside and work together. The group also heard that message from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, former President Bill Clinton, Arizona Senator John McCain, and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.
The Problem Solvers group is based on five leadership principles; tell the truth, govern for the future, put country first, take responsibility, and work together. All agreed that working together does not mean forfeiting your ideals and principles. But it does mean talking, listening, and compromising to solve issues.
Participants agreed that it's time to change focus from what will help win the next primary to what is required to solve problems. When asked if that meant losing the next election would it be acceptable, the answer was "yes." It's time to stop yelling and screaming and start talking and listening to other points of view, dealing with problems before they become the next crisis.
25 members of Congress; 11 Republicans, 13 Democrats, and one Independent, is only 5% of that elected body. It's a start. Some may say they are only giving lip service, however, these 25 have already proven through their actions they are individually committed to bipartisanship. By coming together in an organized effort, they gain the advantage of numbers. They can approach colleagues not as individuals but as one of 25. This will make it easier for more to come on board and reach the goal of 75 or more members.
This No Labels meeting was more than the official introduction of the Problem Solvers group. It was a call to action. Only time will tell if there is success. However, we as a country cannot afford failure.