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Congressman Tom O´Halleran

Representing the 1st District of Arizona

O’Halleran, Problem Solvers Caucus Propose Changes to House Rules to “Break the Gridlock”

July 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) joined his fellow members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus to introduce “Break the Gridlock”, a package of reforms that will change the way the House of Representatives works and ensure Congress is working for the American people. The proposed changes reward openness and transparency, encourage bipartisan lawmaking, spur debate on divisive issues, and empower lawmakers to find real solutions to address our nation’s greatest challenges.

To ensure that every American has a voice in Congress, this package allows legislation from every Member of Congress, both those in the minority and in the majority, to be considered. It also includes a proposal to fast-track bipartisan legislation and allow it to be debated and discussed. 

Additionally, the package would replace the current “Motion to Vacate the Chair" to encourage consensus driven governing and reduce hyper-partisanship.

In the coming weeks, the Problem Solvers Caucus plans to work with other House Caucuses to collaborate and help build consensus around House rules changes ahead of the next Congress.

The full list of goals and proposals in “Break the Gridlock” can be found here

“Washington is painfully out of touch with the needs of those living in Arizona and across the country. It is clear that the American people’s voices are being drowned out by hyper-partisan politics and special interests. We are working to fix the problem and change the broken system that rewards political ideology and gridlock over commonsense legislating that solves the pressing issues our nation faces,” said Representative Tom O’Halleran.

“We care about reforming the institution, so that Congress is actually able to get things done for the people back home,” said Caucus Co-Chair Representative Tom Reed (R-NY). “Due to the House floor being controlled by a select few, most Members of Congress are not able to bring their ideas and proposals to the House floor for a fair vote that would allow us to begin solving some of the most contentious issues facing our country today.”

“We’ve seen time and again how our common sense solutions get jammed up in a system built to empower the voices of a few extremists. Instead of letting obstructionists create roadblocks to bipartisan consensus, the American people deserve action on everything from infrastructure to immigration. These changes will pave the way to the House floor for bipartisan solutions and break the gridlock,” said Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). 

For nearly two years, the 48 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus have worked together, finding bipartisan agreement on the toughest issues facing Congress. The Caucus 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. 

However, their progress and bipartisan cooperation has often faced large obstacles for passage because of House Rules that enable a few Members to prevent bipartisan ideas from being brought to the House Floor. 

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who believe in attacking problems, not people. The group meets once a week to talk about the most contentious issues facing our country today and listens to the views of both sides as to how to fix them.

The Caucus is co-chaired by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).