Bipartisanship on all levels | In Our Opinion

  • Friday, January 13, 2017 8:59am
  • Opinion

There is an important example in the work of the congressional Bipartisan Working Group — an example that should be followed by elected officials on city, county and state, as well as federal, levels of government.

The Bipartisan Working Group has shown that bipartisanship is possible — even in Washington, D.C. Our problems are not Democratic or Republican party problems; they belong to all of us. And the best solutions come from working together.

That’s why the Bipartisan Working Group was formed: To identify those issues on which members of both parties agree, and work together on meaningful legislation to solve those issues.

In working together, interparty collegiality is fostered — and that’s vital when those same members have to work together on issues where they differ.

Members of the group, who meet once a week, include Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Bremerton. He, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, and other members worked together to write a Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution, which would require Congress to receive recurring presentations on the country’s finances and fiscal state. The group has garnered 160 co-sponsors for the resolution.

“Additionally, its members have secured the passage of numerous bills in the House on a wide array of issues, and some of these bills have even been signed into law,” Renacci, a co-founder of the group, wrote in a recent column for Kitsap News Group.

“The divisiveness of this presidential campaign has revealed a significant divide in our country,” he wrote. “If we are to move forward and to govern effectively, it is imperative that political leaders learn to reach across an aisle that at times seems to be a chasm instead.”

Kilmer wrote in his column: “Part of looking ahead to what comes next requires embracing our shared values as Americans and treating each other with more respect.”

Elected officials at all levels of government should heed Renacci’s and Kilmer’s words — and adopt the Bipartisan Working Group as a model.

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