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Gluesenkamp Perez, Joyce, Kuster, and Valadao Lead the Way on Bipartisanship, Governing in Congress

CF in the News

Published on December 6, 2023

Panel Discussion Underscores Need for More Bipartisan Collaboration

(L to R) Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Annie McLane Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH)

(L to R) Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Annie McLane Kuster (D-NH), Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH)

In a recent event organized by Center Forward, a nonprofit committed to fostering bipartisan dialogue among Members of Congress, a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. brought together representatives from various House caucuses that are committed to working together to deliver for the American people. The discussion was convened to provide insights into current bipartisan efforts and the state of cooperation on Capitol Hill.

Moderated by Marianna Sotomayor from the Washington Post, the panel featured Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA) who co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) who chairs the Republican Governance Group, Rep. Annie McLane Kuster (D-NH) who chairs the New Democrat Coalition, and Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), an elected leadership representative for the Republican Governance Group. The discussion touched on policy initiatives and the challenges of bipartisan collaboration in the current political climate. The Members’ remarks offered a rare opportunity to hear directly from Democrats and Republicans about policy priorities they are currently working on together, and the state of bipartisanship on the Hill.

“I’ve always been willing to work with anyone, whether they have an R or a D by their name, to get things done for the Central Valley,” said Congressman Valadao. “Compromise is necessary to get anything done in a divided government, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground.”

Photos from the Center Forward Panel Discussion:

The Blue Dog Coalition, the New Democrat Coalition, and the Republican Governance Group have been instrumental in negotiating some of the biggest bipartisan deals during the 118th Congress. From infrastructure and immigration to artificial intelligence and combatting sexual assault violence, all of the Members underscored the need for more of their colleagues to come together and find common ground.

Acknowledging the evolving landscape of Capitol Hill, panel members admitted to the increasing difficulty of finding bipartisan partners over the past decade. Despite the challenges, the representatives emphasized their commitment to bipartisan efforts. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, elected from a Trump +5 district in 2022, shared unique methods of building bipartisan bridges, including joining a prayer group and utilizing the Capitol gym for networking. “New Dems know there is so much more that unites us than divides us, and in order to accomplish big things in Congress, we must govern from the middle out,” said New Democrat Coalition Chair Annie Kuster (NH-02). “That’s why since our founding, New Dems have been committed to reaching across the aisle to break through the gridlock in Washington to deliver for hardworking families. In the remainder of the 118th Congress, we will further our commitment to finding common ground and advancing lasting, durable policies that improve the lives of the American people.”

The panel’s overall message underscored the importance of governing and leading from the middle. Their shared objective of advancing the interests of constituents and improving the lives of all Americans was palpable, leaving attendees with a profound understanding of the enduring commitment to bipartisan collaboration—a crucial force in a political terrain fraught with challenges and opportunities alike.