Problem Solvers Amend H.R. 1 Utilizing “Break the Gridlock” Rules Change for The First Time

Mar 07, 2019

Suozzi-Fitzpatrick Amendment Receives Fast Track from House Rules

Today, members of the Problem Solvers Caucus amended HR 1 by utilizing a new rule included in the “Break the Gridlock” rules package negotiated with House leadership and implemented this Congress. The House Committee on Rules gave preference to this amendment because at least 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans cosponsored it, per Problem Solvers Caucus implemented rules change.


“In the first adherence by the Rules Committee to the 20/20 rule, my colleagues on the Problem Solvers Caucus have shown that bipartisanship works. By working with Republicans and Democrats, in and out of the Caucus, we were able to demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans can work together on an issue important to the integrity of our institutions. I urge members of Congress to continue utilizing the 20/20 rule, so we can once again work for the American people in a bipartisan way.” said Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-03). “I want to thank Representatives Gottheimer, Reed, Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Problem Solvers for their leadership on this issue, as well as Chairman McGovern and the Rules Committee for working with us to foster a bipartisan process.” 


“I am proud to join the Problem Solvers Caucus in exercising provisions of our ‘Break the Gridlock’ rules package to protect American elections from foreign interference,” said Fitzpatrick. “The amendment proposed by the Problem Solvers Caucus not only promotes transparency in our nation’s electoral process but is proof that governing in a bipartisan and civil manner is the most effective way to produce results for the American people,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01).


Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05). said, “Our democracy is founded on the central premise that every American has a voice in determining our leaders, without influence from foreign governments. This amendment, which Problem Solver Vice Chairs Suozzi and Fitzpatrick so aptly led, will help drive corruption, dark money, and foreign influence out of our elections.  This is the first use of the Break the Gridlock bipartisan amendment rules. I’m proud to take bipartisan steps to further strengthen this bill and increase the transparency of our electoral process.”


“For years the House floor was controlled by a select few preventing most Members of Congress from bringing their ideas and proposals to the House floor for a fair up or down vote. As seen today, this is no longer the case. The Problem Solvers Caucus is stepping up and developing the muscle memory through the recently achieved rule changes to achieve bipartisan victories. We encourage rank and file members outside of our group to embrace these new rules as well, so we can all work more efficiently to solve problems for the people back home,” said Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23).


“The recent foreign interference in our elections has shaken Americans’ faith in our democratic institutions,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m grateful to see such robust bipartisan support for a proposal every citizen can get behind – our elections should be determined by voters, not bought by foreign money,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24).


“When bipartisanship works, the government works,” Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) said. “This 20/20 rule allows Democrats and Republicans to come together and ensure that the legislation we consider on the House Floor addresses the needs and wants of the American people. Today, I stand proud as a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and thank the bipartisan leadership who is paving the way for functional government.”


“Regardless of what political party you belong to, partisanship prevents us from addressing the challenges facing our county,” said Rep. Dave Joyce. “Thankfully, there are avenues in place for Members who prioritize effective lawmaking and fairly evaluate ideas outside of their party to best represent their constituents. I’m pleased that we have both Republicans and Democrats coming together to offer this important amendment to root out illicit foreign money in our elections,” said Congressman David Joyce (OH-14).


“At the beginning of this Congress, I was able to contribute to the enactment of real changes to the rules of the House to help make government more functional for the people we represent. I’m proud of the work we did, and now we are seeing the results in action. I’m pleased to see so many Democrats and Republicans come together on a bipartisan amendment to combat foreign spending in our elections, which is necessary to maintain the integrity of our electoral process. I look forward to continuing the work we’ve started to help bring all Members of the House – Democrats and Republicans alike – together for commonsense solutions that benefit the American people,” said Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03).


“This is a prime example of why we fought so hard to give Democrats and Republicans a path to provide bipartisan input on legislation. This is not just good policy, but it’s also good governing. The integrity of our democratic process is paramount, and I am proud to work together to protect these institutions from outside or foreign influence,” said Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (FL-07).


“Americans, and only Americans, should decide our elections,” said Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03). “That’s just common sense and foundational to our democracy. I’m proud to stand with my bipartisan colleagues to protect the sanctity of our elections. This is the meaningful work Americans expect from Congress, and I’m proud to deliver on that promise today.”


“The American people have been loud and clear—we need to get corruption out of government and dark money out of politics. Foreign actors seeking to illegally influence our elections represent a direct attack to our homeland, and this bipartisan amendment is a critical step in fighting back,” said Congressman Max Rose (NY-11).


“Keeping foreign money and influence out of American politics should be a priority for everyone. This amendment is a perfect example of the good policy that can come from working together. I applaud and thank my colleagues for all their work on this amendment and in successfully implementing the new 20/20 bipartisanship rule,” said Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05).


“As someone who has spent my career in public service identifying potential threats to the safety and security of the American people, I recognize that there are foreign threats targeting our foundational institutions—including our voting process,” said Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “We must take steps to prevent foreign influence in our democratic process. That’s why I am proud to cosponsor this much-needed, bipartisan amendment. This amendment would strengthen the integrity of our elections and help shed light on the prevalence of foreign attempts to influence our democracy.”


“The amendment to H.R. 1 demonstrates the influence of the Problem Solvers Caucus’ efforts to actually make Congress work for the American people,” Upton said. “I’m proud of our bipartisan efforts in the People’s House and will keep working with members of both parties to deliver real results for the folks back home,” said Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06).


The “Break the Gridlock” rules package rewards openness and transparency, encourages a willingness to reach across the aisle, creates debate on divisive issues, and empowers lawmakers to find real solutions concerning our nation’s most pressing matters.


The amendment, which is sponsored by 24 Democrats and 20 Republicans, would require the Federal Elections Commissions to conduct a random audit after each Federal election cycle to determine the incidence of illicit foreign money in the election. Within 180 Days of an election, the FEC would the submit to Congress a report containing audit results and recommendation to address the presence of illicit foreign money.


Polls have shown that illicit foreign donations in campaigns are of great concern to the American people. This amendment which seeks to combat this issue, is not only supported by a clear majority of the Problem Solvers Caucus, but by other Members of Congress who are not a part of the Caucus. 


To see the floor debate on this amendment please click here:

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