Cooper said Blue Dogs will meet with members of the GOP’s The Tuesday Group.
The idea of using tax revenue to meet priorities of both parties has run into opposition on both sides, but Cooper says he will continue to push for a tax overhaul that ultimately could raise $400 billion to $600 billion by eliminating tax breaks for individuals and companies. If a tax overhaul plan takes shape, Cooper said Blue Dogs could help build consensus for a compromise that would allow the proceeds to be split, with some going to lower tax rates and some to deficit reduction.
Cooper and Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leader of The Tuesday Group, said centrists in both parties share an interest in pushing for a grand bargain on the debt and cultivating compromises on a range of other issues, including immigration and gun control.
The Blue Dogs and The Tuesday Group plan to talk about their shared interests in joint meetings that will start this month.
Another potential shared priority could be legislation to require more transparency in the redistricting process, including a proposal by Cooper to require advance posting on the Internet of draft redistricting maps.
“In the gerrymandered world, which we will have for the next eight years, we are the only people that can help Democrats win back the majority,” Cooper said. “We are the only ones, who are proven winners in swing districts. We are the only survivors.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.