Washington, D.C. – Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) president Jason Grumet released this statement following yesterday’s midterm elections:
“The Bipartisan Policy Center congratulates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner for their party’s victory. America’s strength flows from its ideological diversity. We now have an opportunity and obligation to combine ideas from across the political spectrum to forge policy that reflects the interests of all Americans.
“Our nation has done some of its best work under divided government. The challenge for our leaders now is to move from the tough politics of campaigning to the tough politics of governing. Like Congress, our nation is ideologically divided. We cannot wish away our differences, but with real leadership our government can be both partisan and productive.
“At the most basic level, Congress must restore the legislative process. For too long, leadership from both parties has largely ignored congressional committees and forced up-or-down votes with no opportunity for debate or amendments. This is a recipe for certain gridlock regardless of the policy issues at stake. Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy have each committed to restore the basic legislative process. All organizations that care about functional government should support them in this effort.
“We applaud President Obama for inviting congressional leaders from both parties to the White House on Friday. There are a variety of achievable policies that enjoy support across the parties, ranging from infrastructure investment to energy efficiency to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to trade promotion authority and manufacturing hubs. Progress on these issues and the avoidance of shutdowns and other self-inflicted crises will begin to build the trust necessary to take on larger challenges like corporate tax reform, fixing our broken immigration system and managing our abundant domestic energy supply.
“Those who believe that immigration reform is impossible have short memories. After the 2012 presidential election, immigration reform was inevitable. In the lead up to these midterm elections, it was impossible. A functional Congress and pragmatic president could be well positioned to address immigration reform and other significant issues heading into 2016.
“The Bipartisan Policy Center stands ready to provide ideas and support to all policymakers who seek to govern.”