Make Government Work! Package of Nine Bills Builds Trust, Aims to Make Government More Efficient, Effective and Less Wasteful
WASHINGTON, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 70 members of No Labels' Problem Solvers coalition from both parties and both chambers of Congress gathered this morning near the steps of the Capitol to announce a comprehensive legislative reform package.
The Make Government Work! package features nine common-sense legislative initiatives to reduce government waste and inefficiency. (See below for details on each initiative.)
This is the first legislative package introduced by the No Labels Problem Solvers coalition.
Make Government Work! is only a first step, but it's a big step toward restoring the trust between lawmakers, and restoring the American people's trust in our leaders in Washington.
"Some would have Americans believe that there is nothing but bickering and gridlock in Washington," said Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR). "It's good to see that members of both parties – despite real and significant differences on many issues – can agree on some common-sense measures to save hardworking taxpayer's dollars. It is a first step, but a big step in the right direction for us to come together like this to save tens of billions of dollars."
"The development of the Problem Solvers coalition and the push to adopt these Make Government Work! proposals is an unprecedented and overdue development on Capitol Hill," said Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA). "I ran for Congress because I believe it should be a place for service where people come before politics, and that means working with people from both parties to find common ground and move our country forward. Because of our work with the Problem Solvers, we are starting to build trust with one another in Congress. And if we can get some real movement on these reforms, I think we can begin to rebuild the American people's trust in their government."
No Labels introduced the inaugural group of 24 congressional Problem Solvers in January, and the coalition, which has more than tripled in size since then, has met regularly to build trust across the aisle. There are now 81 congressional Problem Solvers meeting regularly, and the group is led by Honorary Co-Chairs Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Governor Jon Huntsman (R-UT).
"Forget, for a moment, whether you think government should be doing more or less, which is really the fundamental debate in this town," said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI). "We should all be able to agree that whatever government is doing now should be done better. That's what Make Government Work! does."
No Labels is a growing national citizens' movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents unlike any other organization in America. The most powerful interest groups in our nation's capital work to push our leaders and our political parties apart. No Labels is working to bring them together to forge solutions to our nation's problems.
"Frustrated voters have sent us to Washington with a mandate – to work hard, work together and deliver results," said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). "As Problem Solvers, we're building strong relationships, finding common ground and having a meaningful dialogue about how we can be the servant-leaders the American people expect and deserve. By building trust and working together in the spirit of aloha – with respect, sincerity and courage – we are creating a path forward toward progress."
The Make Government Work! Legislative Package
- The No Budget, No Pay Act, introduced by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), would withhold congressional pay if both chambers of Congress fail to agree on a budget and all spending bills by the start of every federal fiscal year.
- The Take the Time, Save the Dime Act, introduced by Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), would establish a two-year "biennial" budgeting cycle for the U.S. government.
- The Don't Duplicate, Consolidate Act, introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), would consolidate fragmented, overlapping and duplicative programs identified by the Government Accountability Office.
- The Buy Smarter and Save Act, introduced by Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), would save taxpayers billions of dollars a year by encouraging more strategic sourcing and bulk purchasing across federal agencies.
- The No Adding, No Padding Act, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), would force federal agencies to justify increases in their budgets by removing inflation as a factor in automatically increasing agency budgets.
- The 21st Century Healthcare for Heroes Act, introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), would improve the medical care our military veterans receive by combining the electronic health records of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
- The Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would cut federal agency travel by 50 percent and replace it with video conferencing.
- The Wasted Energy, Wasted Dollars Act, introduced by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) would make federal buildings more efficient by partnering with companies that would then be paid out of the energy savings achieved by their work.
- The Plan for Efficient and Effective Government Act, introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), would create a new bipartisan commission to oversee and effect the transformation of various federal government programs and functions to be more economical, efficient and effective.
Full List of Problem Solvers
37 Republicans, 1 Independent, 43 Democrats
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Raúl Ruiz (D-CA), Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL), Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Rep. GT Thompson (R-PA), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA), Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI).
No Labels Announces the No Labels iPhone App and Congressional Blog
The No Labels App, now available for free in the Apple App Store, is a valuable tool to help people across the country connect directly with their members of Congress, attend town halls and promote the politics of problem solving. The No Labels App provides a unique set of powerful tools designed to support modern political activists and get all Americans engaged in the political process.
The No Labels App features the new Congressional Blog, a forum for the 81 members of the Problem Solvers coalition to communicate directly with the No Labels movement and with one another. The Congressional Blog is also available on No Labels' newly redesigned website at www.NoLabels.org.
No Labels on SiriusXM
SiriusXM aired the "No Labels Rally to Make Government Work" uninterrupted on Thursday, July 18, live at 11:00 am ET on a special edition of No Labels Radio: A Town Hall with America on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. via satellite on channel 124, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish—who presided over the 2010 No Labels launch event in New York City—served as master of ceremonies and broadcasted live from Capitol Hill. Encore presentations will air on July 18 at 8:00 pm ET and July 19 at 2:00 am ET on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. No Labels Radio: A Town Hall with America will be available on SiriusXM On Demand for subscribers listening via the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other mobile devices or online at siriusxm.com
No Labels is a group of Republicans and Democrats dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving in America. To arrange an interview with a No Labels co-founder, please contact Laura Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 630-5749 (c). To learn more about No Labels please visit www.NoLabels.org.
SOURCE No Labels