Washington, D.C.– The following is a statement from Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) op-ed in the Washington Post:
“In today’s Washington Post, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called upon his colleagues to embrace their shared values and engage in the hard work of American Democracy. McCain, more than most, recognizes that true collaboration is a battle that demands a substantive, respectful and deliberative process. Fortunately, the rules and traditions of the legislative process, known as ‘regular order,’ exist to reconcile the intense ideological, political, regional, and economic interests that divide us.
Congress simply needs to take advantage of the process that has been relied upon for generations to confront its differences and develop resilient solutions that representative the broad interests of the American people.
“Under regular order, committee members with shared responsibility, partisan imperatives and unique expertise hold hearings, debate and develop legislation. Committees have historically been the intellectual engines of our democracy and the place where pragmatic agreements are forged. The tendency of both parties to subvert the committee process and draft one-party legislation has badly damaged Congress’ capacity to overcome divisions. McCain rightly calls upon his Republican colleagues to allow for meaningful debate that considers amendments from both parties and on Democratic colleagues to abandon procedural tactics that interfere with substantive deliberation.
“The fall agenda for Congress is tremendously important to our nation’s immediate and long-term interests. Congress must respond to the tragedy on our Gulf Coast, avoid a government shutdown, raise the debt ceiling, shore up the health care insurance market, and begin in earnest to reform the complex and outdated tax code. We live in a divided nation that is represented by a divided Congress. Instead of lamenting polarization and blaming each other, Congress simply needs to take advantage of the process that has been relied upon for generations to confront its differences and develop resilient solutions that representative the broad interests of the American people.
“Thank you, Senator McCain.”