Governor Hogan penned an op-ed in USA Today, explaining his decision to accept the position of national co-chair of No Labels.
According to Governor Hogan, “the botched federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic must be a break the glass moment for our country. This crisis has been a stress test of our federal political system and it’s failing — badly. I believe the overwhelming majority of Americans are demanding their leaders work together to find bipartisan, commonsense solutions.
But it’s going to take real leadership to translate the mandate for compromise into action…I’ve accepted this role to continue pushing our federal leaders to break the gridlock, to act as a bridge between problem solvers on the state and federal levels, and to encourage all Americans to see that they can play a role in solving the serious problems we face.”
As COVID-19 pandemic rages, nation needs bipartisan action
Governor Larry Hogan
Anyone who wants to build a better American future has to recognize that our problems cannot be solved by partisan politics. Washington today is completely out of whack. It’s not just that partisanship is dominant in our politics. It’s that partisan politics have crowded out the space for anything else.
Nearly every incentive is pushing politicians in this direction. Gerrymandered districts ensure that politicians have to worry more about appealing to the extremes than to the vast majority of voters. Social media, talk radio and cable news amplify what’s inflammatory over the things that truly matter.
Washington politicians are rewarded more for doing nothing than getting results for the people they were elected to serve. And I fear that the next generation of leaders are being taught to measure results in cable TV news hits and social media likes rather than improving the lives of their constituents.
The botched federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic must be a break the glass moment for our country. This crisis has been a stress test of our federal political system and it’s failing — badly.
In past times of crisis, Congress has put aside divisions for the common good. But, at a time when millions of struggling American workers, families and small businesses are hanging by a thread, Congress has been too consumed by partisan positioning and political gamesmanship to pass another round of relief.
But, amid this bleak picture, hope for a renewed politics of problem solving is on the horizon.
When COVID-19 struck our shores, I was proud to lead the nation’s governors as chair of the National Governors Association. Republican and Democratic governors came together to help one another, share best practices and push for action in Washington.
We understood that in times of crisis, politics has to be put aside, and we proved that it can be. Unsurprisingly, Americans overwhelmingly approve of how governors have responded to the pandemic compared to Washington.
In this past election, Americans sent a clear message that they are tired of the dysfunction in Washington and don’t want to give unchecked power to either party. Americans voted to narrow the majorities in both the Senate and House. This dynamic gives lawmakers who want to get things done an unprecedented opportunity to assert leverage and demand results.
Thanks to a group called No Labels, this might actually be possible. No Labels has been working for a decade to reorient the nation’s politics toward bipartisan problem solving.
No Labels was instrumental in establishing the Problem Solvers Caucus — a bipartisan group of 50 lawmakers in the U.S. House. When the prospect of another COVID-19 relief package was dead in the water, the Problem Solvers Caucus came together to bring it back to life.
No Labels convened dozens of bipartisan meetings with members of the House and Senate that built trust among members and made the bipartisan $908 billion COVID-19 proposal possible.
I believe the overwhelming majority of Americans are demanding their leaders work together to find bipartisan, commonsense solutions.
But it’s going to take real leadership to translate the mandate for compromise into action. That’s why I’m honored to accept the position of national co-chair of No Labels. I’ve accepted this role to continue pushing our federal leaders to break the gridlock, to act as a bridge between problem solvers on the state and federal levels, and to encourage all Americans to see that they can play a role in solving the serious problems we face.
The parts of our political system that are still working have a responsibility to help fix the parts that are the most dysfunctional. If we don’t step up, we risk becoming consumed by it ourselves. And if we won’t, who will?
The message of No Labels isn’t that we have to compromise our principles. We can seek out bipartisan, commonsense solutions that work for all Americans. We can debate and reason together honestly and productively, with integrity and sincere purpose. We can argue without acrimony, negotiate without hidden agendas and compromise without political posturing.
We don’t have to abandon our party allegiances to contribute to the common good. I firmly believe that the party of Lincoln and Reagan is the best hope for our nation, and I’m going to continue to work to elect Republicans across the country who share common sense conservative values. But leaders should value the priorities of the people who elected us to serve more than the loudest voices or party leaders.
I’ve received plenty of flack from my own party for being willing to disagree with President Donald Trump. I’m not going to give Joe Biden a blank check just like I didn’t give Trump one.
Everyone should want our president to succeed because we need our country to succeed. But true loyalty is about being willing to speak hard truths. My first duty is always to stand up for the people who elected me to serve.
And I’ll work with anyone — no matter the label they carry — to do that job as best I can.