Bipartisanship is breaking out on Capitol Hill, and it seems to be catching.
With the 114th Congress now settling into the new realities of the Republican majority, members are rediscovering what it’s like to work together across party lines toward concrete, achievable goals.
Last month’s breakthrough on a long-standing Medicare payment headache was the most significant evidence yet that members of Congress had finally decided they’d had enough of the gridlock that has sent public disapproval soaring.
— U.S. News (@usnews) April 21, 2015
A new report released this week by the Bipartisan Policy Center on the launch of its Healthy Congress Index shows some numbers may help explain why the legislative gears are in motion again.
The index tracks several metrics grown out of recommendations presented by a BPC commission, led by former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle, a Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Republican, as well as former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. The commission was tasked with determining the root causes of extreme polarization and finding solutions to ease the partisan divide.
Although Congress did not manage to meet recommendations for five-day work weeks and spending three consecutive weeks in Washington in the first quarter, it did improve on the total number of work days from the first quarters of the two previous sessions.
KEYWORDS: MEDICARE, TOM DASCHLE, IRAN, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, MITCH MCCONNELL, BOB CORKER, OLYMPIA SNOWE, JOHN BOEHNER, HARRY REID, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, JOHN CORNYN, 114TH CONGRESS, HEALTHY CONGRESS INDEX, BEN CARDIN