Problem Solvers Caucus Urges Leadership to Return to Regular Order

March 29, 2021
Press Release
Allow for Open Debate, Committee Hearings, & Amendments to Legislation, Key to Bipartisan Legislating on Critical Issues

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus urged Congressional leadership to return to regular order in the House, allowing for open debate on the House floor, committee hearings, and amendments.  In a letter officially endorsed by the 58-Member bipartisan Caucus, including 29 Democrats and 29 Republicans, the group called for adhering to a deliberative and open process that will produce legislation through committee hearings, markups, and floor amendments. 

Given the narrowly divided U.S. House and Senate, a more open, deliberative process is key to getting more legislation from Congress to the President’s desk. 
 
In recent weeks, many bills have been fast-tracked to the House floor, bypassing committees; this, coupled with many closed rules, has constrained Members’ ability to offer amendments and provide valuable input on legislation. 
 
The Problem Solvers Caucus cited narrow majorities in the House and Senate and the importance for bills to gain bipartisan support to pass both houses and ultimately be signed into law by the President. They indicate how the recent rushed process in the House, with a lack of transparency and Member input, greatly limits the potential for success for House-passed legislation to be passed by the Senate. 
 
“We believe a return to regular order can help build the necessary support from both parties to enact meaningful, bipartisan legislation that creates new possibilities for Americans and addresses many of the challenges impacting our country,” the Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus wrote in a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy this week. “The best way to do this is by having a deliberative and open process that promotes transparency and allows members to help shape legislation through committee hearings, markups, and floor amendments. We should not be afraid to deliberate and debate.”
 
The Members closed by saying, “The opportunities are endless if we adhere to a process that reflects the best for all Americans — promoting Member input, encouraging collaboration, and championing cooperation.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below: 


March 29, 2021


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House                             
U.S. House of Representatives                
H-232, U.S. Capitol                      
Washington, DC 20515
                                                                        
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader 
U.S. House of Representatives     
H-204, U.S. Capitol             
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

As Members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, we are united in the idea that there are commonsense solutions to many of our country’s toughest challenges. We are writing to urge a return to regular order in the House, with full committee consideration of legislation and more open rules on the House floor.
 
With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, we need bipartisan support and solutions to get bills passed in both houses and ultimately signed into law by the President. The best way to do this is by having a deliberative and open process that promotes transparency and allows members to help shape legislation through committee hearings, markups, and floor amendments. We should not be afraid to deliberate and debate.
 
As you know, in recent weeks, most bills have been fast-tracked to the House floor, bypassing committees; closed rules have constrained Members’ ability to offer amendments and provide valuable input on issues that impact all our communities. This has created a rushed process with a lack of Member input and transparency, greatly limiting the potential for success in the Senate, and it is also encouraging dilatory tactics from some in the minority party. A return to regular order will help end that approach, ensure the long-term functionality of the institution, and help prevent damage to the House. 
 
We believe a return to regular order can help build the necessary support from both parties to enact meaningful, bipartisan legislation that creates new possibilities for Americans and addresses many of the challenges impacting our country. The opportunities are endless if we adhere to a process that reflects the best for all Americans – promoting Member input, encouraging collaboration, and championing cooperation.
 
Sincerely,
 
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

 

This letter has been officially endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus, garnering the support of more than 75-percent of the 58-member, bipartisan Caucus.

Cc. Chairman James McGovern
       Ranking Member Tom Cole
                                                         

 

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The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprised of 58 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues.

Issues: