Blue Dog Coalition Backs Proposal to Change House Rules

Oct 3, 2018
Press Release

The Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed the Problem Solvers Caucus’ Break the Gridlock, a package of proposed changes to the House Rules that would make Congress work for the American people. The Blue Dog Coalition is the first official caucus within the U.S. House of Representatives to back the proposal since the Problem Solvers Caucus introduced it.

The proposed rule changes reward openness and transparency, incentivize a willingness to reach across the aisle, encourage debate on the issues of the day, and empower lawmakers to find real solutions concerning our nation’s most pressing matters. The package includes proposals to give fast-track priority consideration to bipartisan legislation and guarantees markups on bipartisan legislation from every Member of Congress.
“The majority of Americans have made their views clear: Congress is broken, and it’s time to fix it,” said Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “For far too long partisan games have blocked commonsense, bipartisan legislation that would have received overwhelming support if given a vote on the House floor. That’s why the Blue Dogs are proud to join the Problem Solvers Caucus to call for the House to be more bipartisan, less gridlocked, and to accurately represent the views of the American people.”

“The Blue Dogs were founded on the key principle of transcending party lines to pursue commonsense solutions on behalf of the American people,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “Congress is intended to function based on compromise. When Republicans and Democrats put politics aside and come together, we get things done and move our country forward. We need to end the era of hyper partisanship in Washington, and this proposal is a key step to make that happen. As the first House caucus to endorse Break the Gridlock since its introduction, the Blue Dogs are continuing to walk the walk—not just talk the talk—when it comes to getting things done in Congress and pursuing bipartisan, commonsense solutions.”

“Our Constitution empowered the American people by empowering Congress and their representatives,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “But congressional rules are now rigged in a way that greatly diminishes our ability to represent our constituents. This has resulted in a Congress that doesn’t work and is frozen in partisan gridlock, allowing the president and the courts to grab the power that is supposed to be held by the American people. By instituting these proposed reforms, we will begin to restore this power, break partisan gridlock, and facilitate congressional problem solving that will help us build a better America for future generations.”

"The Blue Dog Coalition has always helped lead the way when it comes to implementing commonsense solutions that move this country forward, and they know that Break the Gridlock is an important step toward getting the House working again,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Democratic Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus and member of the Blue Dog Coalition. “As word gets out about the Break the Gridlock package, we're going to continue to see growing support for these game-changing ideas."

“The appetite to change the archaic House rules continues to grow,” said Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23), Republican Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. “There is a willingness in Washington to tackle the difficult issues and get things done for the people back home, and rule changes are the first step in the process. We would like to thank the Blue Dog Coalition for their leadership and endorsement of the Break the Gridlock rules package."

“Our goal is to democratize the processes in the House and get Congress back to legislating,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “There is a huge desire by the rank-and-file to work across the aisle on solutions to the problems our communities are facing back at home. To be able to do that, we need good leadership. And to have good leadership, we need a Speaker who is Speaker of the whole House, not someone who’s only representing a small fraction that has a chokehold over everyone else. We need leadership who is willing to amend the way we operate here in the House to turn the wheel back and put us on a path to finding yeses.”

“Every member of Congress represents a district with unique challenges and issues that must be addressed,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Government Reform and Accountability. “It is imperative that we have strong leadership in the House that recognizes this reality and encourages members, regardless of political party, to put forward commonsense legislation that will improve the lives of their constituents and the American people. This bipartisan set of proposals puts us down that path, and it will allow us to break this partisan gridlock that is gripping Congress and preventing real progress from being made.”