Reed Fighting To End Washington Gridlock

We have often asked U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, during candidate debates at The Post-Journal about gridlock in Washington.

While gridlock still exists, we have to give Reed credit for the work he and the Problem Solvers Caucus are putting in to end the problem. The caucus has proposed a health care compromise to help stabilize the individual marketplace, an agreement on our nation’s Dreamers and border security, support for gun and school safety legislation and recommendations for a bipartisan infrastructure package. Such legislation has faced obstacles from House of Representatives rules that allow a few members to prevent bipartisan ideas from being brought to the floor.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, which includes 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans, wants to make it easier for lawmakers to pass legislation and decrease the power of legislators at the far right and far left of the political spectrum.

One of the reforms the caucus is pushing is an end to the Hastert Rule, which keeps legislation from a hearing on the House floor unless it has the support of a majority of members from the majority party. The rule is blamed for blocking consideration of immigration reform bills and gun legislation. The caucus also wants to end the practice of allowing a House member to force a no-confidence vote in the House speaker, a practice that forced former speaker John Boehner to resign his position and to make it easier to bring legislation with support from both Republican and Democratic members of the House to the floor.

Caucus members are threatening to withhold support from candidates for speaker in January if they don’t embrace the caucus’ reform package. Unlike some reforms that make sense but speak only to the party in the minority, the Problem Solvers Caucus is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. We would hope that bodes well for the reform package, but we won’t hold our breath. It is Washington, D.C., after all.