Far too often, people tend to focus on our differences instead of what brings us together. Despite what we all may hear, common ground does exist among lawmakers from opposing parties.|
Although one of us is a Democrat and one of us is a Republican, we both feel things can and should get done in Washington. Our constituents sent us to our nation's Capital not to position and posture, but to use common sense and compromise to move our country forward.
This is why both of us joined the bipartisan group called 'No Labels,' and have been identified as Congressional Problem Solvers. We represent a wide range of opinions and beliefs, but are united in the desire to put partisanship aside and work together to find common ground.
We surely don't agree on every issue, but there are plenty of areas we can find to achieve results for the people we represent.
One area that everyone can agree on -- both Democrats and Republicans -- is the desire to root out and eliminate government waste and protect taxpayer money.
That desire is why we both support the bipartisan Government Waste Reduction Act (HR530), a common sense bill that would reduce unnecessary duplicative government services, eliminate government waste and save hard-earned taxpayer dollars, while protecting the crucial programs upon which our neighbors rely.
The Government Waste Reduction Act would establish an independent government waste reduction board tasked with developing legislative proposals based on recommendations from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office and sending them to Congress.
To promote accountability, and to include multiple points of view, the board would consist of 15 members, six from the majority party and six from the minority party in both the House and Senate, and three from the Administration.
Cutting down on unnecessary government waste is a good step in the right direction as we strive toward getting our fiscal house in order without jeopardizing essential programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The Government Waste Reduction Act alone will not solve our fiscal problems, but it is a bipartisan starting point that holds tremendous potential for reducing our deficit.
We both come from hard-working districts where our people expect their elected officials to put politics aside and do their job.
We hope our bipartisan bill not only is received as a common sense way to help reduce the deficit, but also can show the American people that governing in practical, common sense and reasonable ways is once again possible in Washington.
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline and U.S. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Penn, are members of No Labels and Congressional Problem Solvers.
Carbon cliff, IL Details
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