In the 2022 Midterm election, voters were clear: they rejected far-right extremism and embraced mainstream Democrats focused on bipartisanship and delivering real results for the American people. The vast majority of these Democrats are part of the nearly 100 Member, center-left New Democrat Coalition in the House. As the Chair of the Coalition, I know firsthand how hard our Members are working to break through the gridlock in Washington to make a difference in Americans’ lives. That’s why I call New Dems the “Can Do Caucus.”
Now, it’s incumbent on our Members who defended, flipped, and won competitive races – ultimately fighting off the much heralded ‘red wave’ – to reach across the aisle to address the issues Americans care about most. While we’ll work every day to win back the majority in 2024, we also know the challenges facing our nation are too great to wait until then.
That’s why New Dems are committed to finding ways to work with reasonable Republicans to deliver on issues such as addressing the debt ceiling, reforming our immigration system, investing in workforce development, tackling the substance use disorder and mental health crises, and so much more. Despite the challenges of the minority, if any Democrats can make progress this Congress – it’s New Dems. Nothing will become law in the 118th Congress without us, and the American people should rest assured there are Members of Congress who are fighting for them.
Unfortunately, the first few weeks of the Republican majority have shown that it will be an uphill battle to reach bipartisan consensus. Instead of governing from the center out and responding to the American people’s call for bipartisanship, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already caved to the most extreme elements of his party.
The Rules package and extreme bills the House GOP recently passed show just how beholden McCarthy is to a handful of far-right House Freedom Caucus Members. Worse yet, House Republicans voted to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics, which acts independently to increase accountability and transparency in Congress. These are changes that reward extremists and increase gridlock.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve seen in state legislatures across the nation such as in Ohio, that it’s possible for Republicans and Democrats to come together and write rules that make compromise and bipartisanship more likely, not less likely.
While New Dems will always stand our ground to protect our democratic institutions and fundamental freedoms, we will also work to find common ground with reasonable Republicans. In this closely divided Congress, it’s clear that the moderate Members in the middle – on both sides of the aisle – are the ones who truly represent what the American people demand: true progress.
Together, we must act to fight inflation and make goods more affordable, increase workforce development, lower health care costs, enact common-sense immigration reform, and address the mental health and substance use disorder crises. Americans are counting on us.
New Dems will make progress on these issues by harnessing the talent of our diverse membership and investing in our connections across the aisle and in leadership. New Dems are policy leaders and leaders in the Democratic caucus. We will drive the agenda and broker deals in a narrow Republican majority while continuing our work with President Biden to build on his administration’s track record of bipartisan success.
Last Congress, Democrats had the exact same margin Republicans currently have, yet because of strong Democratic leadership and our work across the aisle, we had one of the most productive Congresses in recent memory. New Dems were instrumental in passing historic legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS and Science Act. In the 118th Congress, we will continue to produce results and represent what Americans voted for – reason, results, and responsibility.
New Dems are the Members who made the majority in 2018, defended it in 2020, and helped beat back the red wave in 2022 by protecting 22 Frontline Members and electing 17 new Members. We will build on these efforts and once again be the majority makers in 2024 when we retake the House.
But until then, we will work with House Republicans where we can, reject the far-right’s extreme agenda, and do everything in our power to deliver for our constituents. Without our Members at the table, nothing will become law in this Congress. New Dems stand ready and willing to govern and continue delivering for the American people.