Fitzpatrick Commits to Congressional Civility Pledge
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) has joined 45 Democrat and Republican freshman members in signing a ‘Commitment to Civility’ pledge that seeks to restore collegiality, trust and civility to Congress, encourage productive dialogue, and work to build consensus and the public's trust in America’s institutions.
The one-page pledge acknowledges the “increasing division in and coarsening of our culture fueled too often by the vitriol in politics” and commits its signers to “set an example of statesmanship.” You can read the full pledge HERE
Fitzpatrick, who in his first months has focused largely on government reform and efforts to restore faith in government institutions, passionately addressed the House Tuesday evening.
You can read his complete remarks below. Click HERE to watch or download.
“I’d like to thank all the members of our freshman class – members of both parties and every political background – who have joined us tonight in signing the ‘Commitment to Civility’ pledge. ‘Love thy neighbor’ – no exceptions.
Seeing 46 Republicans and Democrats make this public commitment is encouraging for this chamber and for the constituents we serve.
We can all agree that our nation is facing some serious challenges. From increasing opportunity in an evolving economy, to keeping our families safe from threats at home and abroad, the lift in front of this body is heavy enough – the last thing we need is make problem solving any harder.
A statement made on the Senate floor last week offered a stark message: It is simply not possible to exist as a nation when half its citizens hate the other half.
If we’re willing to end friendships or block our family members because of Facebook posts, we’re not headed in the right direction.
Despite the incredible responsibility entrusted to each of us by those whom we represent, this Congress has not been immune to the hardening of political division.
However, we must not accept our current discourse as the new normal.
And yet, there is hope. There is hope because these members standing with me tonight, and those who have joined our pledge, are willing to say: First and foremost we are Americans. And the person I may disagree with – even vehemently – is still an American. And just because someone has a different viewpoints or policy priorities or a different letter next to their name doesn’t make them our enemy.
This Congress can, and must, play a part in restoring the civility and respect that makes productive dialog possible. I’m not saying we’ll agree on everything, but a spirit of mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual cooperation is the bedrock of making our government – and our communities – work.
Whether we are elected officials or moms or dads or neighbors or community leaders or students or anyone - we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us.
That’s the commitment I’m willing to make to my colleagues and my constituents this evening.”