Charlie Dent and Mike Fitzpatrick have joined 22 other members of Congress as a part of the “Problem Solvers Group.” Organized by No Labels, the bipartisan collection of officials aims to bypass gridlock and address the nation’s continuing economic issues.
“I am proud to join No Labels in promoting the ‘No Budget, No Pay’ Act as well as my own legislation I have introduced to end the Congressional pension, freeze Congressional pay, and strengthen restrictions on lobbying,” Fitzpatrick said in a No Labels press release.
The group was unveiled in New York City Monday. No Labels is nonpartisan organization dedicated to pragmatic governance. Its national leaders are former Utah Gov. and 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman and West Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.
The ‘problem solvers’ is a response to the recent crisis-to-crisis style of congressional action.
“The simple fact is that right now, there are businesses not hiring, workers not working and investors not investing as a direct result of the gridlock in Washington,” Huntsman said Monday. “Hearing that and knowing that should light a fire under everybody in Washington. But it hasn’t yet. So No Labels has to light that fire.
“We have to walk before we run. We have to build trust, and you can’t build trust if you don’t have relationships,” Dent told Colby Itkowitz of the Allentown Morning Call. “And what I liked about this group is that we actually sit down and break bread and talk about things. That’s not a small thing.”
Dent, of Lehigh County, and Fitzpatrick, of Bucks County, are both Republicans and the only Pa. legislators to join the group. Each voted with his party most of them time in the previous Congress — though less than the average GOP member (81 percent for Fitzpatrick, 86 percent for Dent according to the Washington Post votes database).