As talks between the White House and Senator Capito fail, Governor Hogan joined former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, former Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt, former Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis, and former National Director of Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair in a joint No Labels letter to President Biden and congressional leadership urging bipartisan compromise on infrastructure.
The group writes, “This is a moment for leaders who believe in the urgency of uniting this divided country, and in finding bipartisan solutions to our toughest problems, to stand up and be counted. The entire No Labels community will stand with those leaders who rise to the occasion and meet this critical moment. Those in elective office who fall short at this critical moment will be letting down their supporters—and the nation.”
In April, Governor Hogan hosted a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senator Bill Cassidy, Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Jacky Rosen, Senator Joe Manchin, and the leaders of the Problem Solvers Caucus to jumpstart bicameral, bipartisan talks on an infrastructure bill. Governor Hogan has also outlined his own bipartisan compromise, which included investments in traditional infrastructure, as well as “investments in the future like broadband, grid modernization, resiliency and clean energy that will grow our economy and enhance our national security.”
President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy:
We are writing to make clear No Labels’ position on the ongoing effort in Washington to fashion desperately needed investments in the nation’s infrastructure. We believe that the final legislation can be, and should be, a two-party solution. As an organization and as a national movement of individuals, we will fervently support members of Congress who are willing to take the risks and make the compromises necessary to bring about a bipartisan solution. And we will be profoundly disappointed by members who talk a good game on bipartisanship but don’t play it when it counts.
Now is the time for all leaders—especially those who campaigned on bipartisanship and have pledged to govern cooperatively—to put aside the siren song of the loudest, angriest, most divisive voices in this nation. This is a responsibility that applies to President Biden and to members of the Senate and the House.
No Labels has, for a decade now, been a champion of bipartisanship for two reasons. First, we believe that Congress produces better and more durable legislation when both parties have a hand in shaping national policy. And second, we believe—more strongly than ever—that our two parties coming together to solve problems is the best way to break the vicious cycle of party-line legislating, rolled back when the other party retakes the majority, in an atmosphere of perpetual recrimination. This pattern now defines our broken national politics and is threatening to spiral out of control and take our democracy with it.
Infrastructure is an issue that needs a two-party solution. Both parties believe the nation is in genuine need of infrastructure improvement, and repair. Leaders on both the left and right have worried about how the failure to invest puts the U.S. at a disadvantage on the global stage. Although there are real policy disagreements about how to define and pay for infrastructure, they can be worked out by compromise, as have even more difficult and controversial issues in the past. The barriers that will need to be cleared on the way to a deal are primarily political. But this is not the time to position for the next election. It is time to plan for the nation’s long-term well-being. Most Americans recognize a two-party infrastructure solution would be a win for Democrats, for Republicans and most importantly for America. We ask that our elected representatives in Congress be as clear eyed about what’s needed as the American people.
This is a singular moment and a failure to find agreement between the two parties now could have very damaging consequences for our country. Both parties would sink deeper into partisan trench warfare, as important national problems get worse.
It would be one thing if, last November, the American people had overwhelmingly endorsed one party’s agenda to the exclusion of the other as they did, say, in 1932 for Franklin Roosevelt’s Democrats, or even in 1980 or 1984, for Ronald Reagan’s Republicans.
But that’s not the case today.
The margin in the House is the narrowest since World War I. The Senate is evenly split, 50⁄50.
Today, as much as at any time in our past, the American people are together demanding bipartisanship. And on infrastructure, there is no good reason that they should not have it.
This is a moment for leaders who believe in the urgency of uniting this divided country, and in finding bipartisan solutions to our toughest problems, to stand up and be counted. The entire No Labels community will stand with those leaders who rise to the occasion and meet this critical moment. Those in elective office who fall short at this critical moment will be letting down their supporters—and the nation.
Governor Larry Hogan: No Labels National Co-Chairman
Senator Joe Lieberman: No Labels Founding Co-Chairman
Richard Gephardt, Democratic Leader (1995-2003): No Labels Leader
Representative Tom Davis: No Labels Co-Founder
Admiral Dennis Blair: No Labels Co-Founder