Fitzpatrick’s Problem Solvers Propose Major House Overhaul

House Rules Change to “Break the Gridlock”

July 25, 2018

WASHINGTON – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) and members of the House Problems Solvers Caucus today introduced a package of changes to the House Rules to make Congress work for the American people. The proposed rule changes reward openness and transparency, encourage a willingness to reach across the aisle, create debate on divisive issues, and empower lawmakers to find real solutions concerning our nation’s most pressing matters.

The package includes, among others, proposals to give fast-track priority consideration to bipartisan legislation and guarantees markups on bipartisan legislation from every Member of Congress. 

To encourage consensus driven governing, the package would also replace the current “Motion to Vacate the Chair."  

The full list of goals and proposals in “Break the Gridlock” can be found HERE

“The current rules that govern the legislative process in Washington are completely broken, which has manifested itself in a Congress that is broken,” Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said. “The hyper-partisan, Hatfield versus McCoy mentality in Washington DC must end, and I will make it my life’s mission to systemically change the way business is done (and not done) in Congress.  The “Break the Gridlock” Rules package that we are unveiling today is the solution to the problem."

“We can and must bring bipartisanship and consensus building back to the People of the United States of America.  The time is now for leaders to stand up and be leaders, to throw party labels in the trash can and start viewing those who think differently than us as strengths to be harnessed, not weaknesses to be criticized.  Our diversity as Americans, including our diversity in thought, must be mutually respected and fully utilized to generate the most effective solutions to the serious problems that we face.  We will rise to this challenge and fight like hell to get this done for our great Nation.  And we will not stop until this is accomplished,” Fitzpatrick concluded. 

The Problem Solvers Caucus plans to work with other House Caucuses in the coming weeks to collaborate and help build consensus around House rules changes ahead of the next Congress.

For nearly two years, the 48 Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus have worked together finding bipartisan agreement on the toughest issues facing Congress. The Caucus proposed a health care compromise to help stabilize the individual marketplace; an agreement on our nation’s DREAMERs and border security; support for gun and school safety legislation, and recommendations for a bipartisan infrastructure package. 

However, their progress and bipartisan cooperation has often faced large obstacles for passage because of House Rules that enable a few Members to prevent bipartisan ideas from being brought to the House Floor. 

“We care about reforming the institution, so that Congress is actually able to get things done for the people back home,” said Caucus Co-Chair Representative Tom Reed (R-NY). “Due to the House floor being controlled by a select few, most Members of Congress are not able to bring their ideas and proposals to the House floor for a fair vote that would allow us to begin solving some of the most contentious issues facing our country today.”

“We’ve seen time and again how our common-sense solutions get jammed up in a system built to empower the voices of a few extremists. Instead of letting obstructionists create roadblocks to bipartisan consensus, the American people deserve action on everything from infrastructure to immigration. These changes will pave the way to the House floor for bipartisan solutions and break the gridlock,” said Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). 

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who believe in attacking problems not people. The group meets once a week to talk about the most contentious issues facing our country today and listens to the views of both sides as to how to fix them.

The Caucus is co-chaired by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).