When we were in school we were graded on things like “works and plays well with others” and that is a trait we look for in others. Many of our elected officials don’t seem to look at this as a virtue. However, some of our representatives in Washington DC realize that the bills which survive are those sponsored by members of both parties who are willing to work with others from across the aisle to do what is best for America. A group of these Representatives have formed “The Problem Solvers Caucus” to work toward that goal. The Problem Solvers Caucus is made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats with co-leaders, a Republican and a Democrat.

A month ago this group announced a plan called “BREAK THE GRIDLOCK” to get reasonable, worthwhile bills passed. In the House bills can be introduced with either closed or open rules. The House Rules Committee currently decides the rules under which legislation is introduced, and has become more restrictive over the years. Closed rules eliminate the opportunity for members to offer amendments to legislation, while open rules allow members to add amendments and hold open debate. Between 1977 and 1979 roughly 85 percent of bills were considered under open rules. The current Congress has not considered a single bill with open rules, making it nearly impossible for bipartisan policy to be found.

The “Break the Gridlock “ plan developed by the Problem Solvers Caucus proposes changes to the rules by which the House introduces and processes bills which will provide more open and bipartisan participation in the law making process.

We are asking each of you to encourage your Congressman and those running for that position to support the rules change proposed by the Problem Solvers Caucus so Congress can start getting the work of the people done and do what is best for America.

— Bill and Glenda Reynolds, Whitewater.