Washington, DC – As we approach Thursday’s anniversary of the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are reminded that our democratic institutions are not guaranteed. A strong democracy requires constant vigilance and leaders committed to responsibly resolving political differences to ensure a resilient, responsive government that advances our national interests.
In last year’s statement we asserted, “It is now clear that we must rediscover the capacity to lead ourselves before we can lead the world. Our nation is in crisis and requires a bold demonstration of immediate action—not just hopeful words.” The Bipartisan Policy Center again calls on President Biden to begin a series of face-to-face meetings with congressional leaders of both parties to restore trust in government and demonstrate their shared obligation to govern a divided nation. These conversations should begin prior to the State of the Union and continue on a regular basis throughout the year.
Of course, conversation alone will not inevitably lead to camaraderie or solutions, but it is an essential predicate to breaking the vicious cycle that threatens our democracy. Directly engaging political and ideological differences will be challenging, but it is literally the least our leaders can do to fulfill the oath each has made to the American people.
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.