Rep. Tom Reed and more than 70 Republican and Democratic Members of the House and Senate gathered outside of the Capitol recently to unveil a new bipartisan legislative package. The "Make Government Work" initiative represents the culmination of months of regular formal and informal meetings and conversations among the No Labels Problem Solvers.
"We may call ourselves Republican or Democrat, but at the end of the day, we all have the same goal: improving this great country for our children and grandchildren," Reed said. "Today we announced common-sense measures we can all find common ground on. These proposals will help keep more money in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers by cutting down on waste and improving efficiency - two things I think we can all agree Washington needs to do."
Rep. Reed and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) partnered to introduce one of the nine bills, "No Adding, No Padding." Reed says too much of government spending is on autopilot and points to the automatic use of inflation adjustments to increase federal agency budgets before those proposals are submitted to Congress each year as one of the culprits. The bill would stop assuming those automatic year-to-year spending increases.
"'No Adding, No Padding' is a way to break that cycle and add transparency to ensure all federal dollars are being used efficiently and effectively so that taxpayers are getting a fair shake," Reed added.
Earlier this year, Reed and the No Labels group advocated for the "No Budget, No Pay" legislation to require the House and Senate to each pass a budget before the annual deadline. If either chamber failed, their pay would be withheld. With strong support of the legislation, both the House and Senate made the April 15th deadline, with the Senate passing a budget for the first time in four years.
As Reed said when he joined No Labels in March, "We came to Washington to change the culture and this group will help do just that. There are real philosophical differences, but that does not mean we shouldn't be building trust and respect. We aren't checking our principles at the door, we're creating an environment where Members truly committed to having honest conversations can come together to find common ground."
The Problem Solver's Group was launched in January with just over twenty members. Six months later, membership has more than tripled to nearly 80 members.