That’s what the comity-seeking No Labels organization is after with its nonpartisan plan to “Make Congress Work.”
Released Tuesday, the plan is broken into three parts — breaking gridlock, promoting constructive discussion and reducing polarization — and implores Members to push aside ideology to get things done.
“It doesn’t matter how good policy ideas are. If Congress isn’t working, the ideas won’t become reality,” asserted Bill Galston, a No Labels co-founder and Brookings Institution fellow.
That sounds fine and dandy to us, but the finer points of the plan sound amazingly unfeasible, such as docking Congressional salaries if the nonbinding budget resolution isn’t passed on time each year. Or requiring the House and Senate to coordinate schedules so they’ll be in town at the same time (see: 2011 and 2012 legislative calendars).
Rep. Bruce Braley, a No Labels backer, held out hope that incremental change could be achieved.
“The reality is it won’t come into fruition unless there is a significant cry from the public,” the Iowa Democrat said. “You may agree that they are not all viable, but you still need to make steps towards changing the culture.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) echoed that optimism in an official statement: “We’re trying to put civility and commonsense solutions back into governing.”
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.