BLUE DOG COALITION ANNOUNCES POLICY TASK FORCES FOR THE 115th CONGRESS

Jun 30, 2017
Press Release

Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally responsible Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—announced the Blue Dog Task Forces for the 115th Congress.

“The Blue Dogs are continuing their tradition of strong leadership on economic growth, fiscal responsibility, government reform and accountability, and national defense,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “The Task Forces will play a key role to move our country forward on these principles—it’s what the American people want. We look forward to working with our Republican and Democratic colleagues in Congress to pursue smart policies that will strengthen our economy and national defense, and most importantly, our country.”

“In a time when many politicians are talking about what we’re against, the Blue Dogs will be talking about what we are for in this country,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “For more than 20 years, the Blue Dogs have led the way bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats to develop commonsense solutions for serious problems Americans face in their daily lives. The Blue Dog Task Forces will be essential to ensuring Americans will have good-paying jobs, that our children won’t bear the burden of our nation’s tremendous debt, that Members of Congress will be held to a higher level of accountability, and that our nation’s defense apparatus will continue to be the strongest in the world.”

“When it comes to getting things done in Congress, the Blue Dogs always lead the way,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “In the 115th Congress, we gained a talented class of seven freshman members of Congress who came to Washington to fight for economic growth, fiscal responsibility, more accountability, and strong national defense. They join the Blue Dogs in doing more than just talking about creating real solutions; we are going to create the commonsense, bipartisan solutions the American people have always called for.”

The Blue Dog Coalition Task Forces for the 115th Congress:

Task Force on Economic Growth
Co-Chairs:       Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)

Members:        Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)

The Task Force on Economic Growth will be primarily focused on creating a positive economic climate geared toward boosting growth and promoting job creation. Under the leadership of co-chairs Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), the Task Force will advance policies that accelerate the economic recovery, create good job opportunities for middle-class Americans, and assist small business owners in growing their companies. The Task Force on Economic Growth also includes Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).

“Hard working folks in my community and all across this country never fully recovered from the recession,” said Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), co-chair for the Task Force on Economic Growth. “These families are still struggling every day to get by and achieve the American Dream. It is our job in Congress to work together and develop policies that allow small businesses and employers to thrive and grow. Folks today need the same kind of good paying jobs that my generation grew up on. This Task Force will be a tool to strengthen our economy and give Americans a chance at reaching the middle class.”

“While our economy continues to recover from the great recession, too many hardworking Americans still struggle to find good-paying jobs and entrepreneurs still face difficulties to secure loans needed to start or expand their own businesses,” said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), co-chair for the Task Force on Economic Growth. “It’s our job in Congress to work together to address these challenges, creating an environment that fosters economic growth. This means raising wages, providing tax breaks for small businesses hiring, and expanding access to capital—particularly for women- and minority-owned businesses. I look forward to our work on the Task Force to strengthen our economy so our middle class and Main Street can prosper.”

Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility
Co-Chairs:       Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)

Members:        Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)

The Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility is charged with building on the Blue Dog Coalition’s recognized leadership and record of accomplishment in addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. Under the leadership of co-chairs Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), the Task Force will pursue smart and strategic policies to rein in the federal government’s persistent annual deficits and unsustainable debt in order to protect the nation’s economic health and the interest of future generations. The Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility also includes Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR).

“While working to lower taxes for New Jersey families and businesses, I am also committed to making sure the government is a responsible steward of each and every tax dollar that comes to Washington by cutting spending and rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), co-chair for the Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. “Through the Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility, I look forward to working with my colleagues on efforts to rein in government spending and bring our country back to sound fiscal footing to boost economic growth.”

“Getting our nation’s fiscal house in order is critical to ensuring America’s long-term economic success,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), co-chair for the Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. “Led by the Blue Dogs, Congress should work in a bipartisan way to exercise fiscal responsibility and to protect the hard-earned dollars of U.S. taxpayers. American families are expected to balance their budgets; the federal government should balance its budget as well.”

Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability
Co-Chairs:       Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)

Members:        Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX)

The Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability is responsible for monitoring regulations issued by the federal government and analyzing new rules to ensure Congressional intent is appropriately applied. Under the leadership of co-chairs Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), the Task Force will seek to revise burdensome and antiquated regulations and rules that undermine job creation, and identify ways to increase transparency and accountability throughout the federal government. It is also responsible for crafting policies that apply strong ethical standards to members of Congress. The co-chairs are each already leaders on holding Members of Congress accountable, having already introduced legislation during this Congress to limit Member pay in the event of a government shutdown or if Congress fails to pass a budget. The Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability also includes Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX).

“The American people are tired of the partisan gridlock that prevents Congress from working on the issues that impact them every day,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), co-chair for the Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “It is time to get serious about modernizing our tax code and reducing burdensome regulations that prevent small businesses from growing and our economy from thriving. This Task Force gives us the opportunity to work together on commonsense, bipartisan ideas to hold our elected leaders accountable and ensure they are focused on the needs of the American people.”

“It’s my belief as a former small business owner and as a legislator, that DC should be in the business of producing outcomes, not micromanaging,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), co-chair for the Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “I consistently hear from schools, teachers, small business owners, farmers, workers and taxpayers in my district that there are too many rules and regulations coming from Washington. Getting rid of these antiquated, outdated rules that interfere in local control and decision making is what the Blue Dogs are all about.”

Task Force on National Defense
Co-Chairs:       Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)

Members:        Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

The Task Force on National Defense will proactively engage on issues that promote a strong national defense for the United States. Under the leadership of co-chairs Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), the Task Force will pursue policies that better protect the American people and our allies and ensures American leadership around the world. The Task Force on National Defense also includes Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

"I look forward to co-chairing the Blue Dog Task Force on National Defense with my colleague, Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois,” said Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), co-chair for the Task Force on National Defense. “This Task Force is committed to strengthening our country's national defense and ensuring that our service members, including veterans, have the appropriate resources, training, health care and services to defend our country, our values, and our allies from the many threats we face both at home and abroad."

“Our government has no more important responsibility than protecting the safety and security of our nation and our people, both at home and abroad,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), co-chair for the Task Force on National Defense. “To promote American interests and leadership in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, our national security requires strategic balance and robust investment in defense, diplomacy, and development. I look forward to working with Rep. Gonzalez and my colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition to support our men and women in uniform and support policies that ensure a strong national defense.”

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