Wisconsin Rep. Ribble joins national group trying for bipartisanshipA bipartisan group of lawmakers met in New York Monday to discuss ways Congress can come together and combat its image as a “do-nothing” body.
By: By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A bipartisan group of lawmakers met in New York Monday to discuss ways Congress can come together and combat its image as a “do-nothing” body. One Wisconsin Republican belongs to the group, called “No Labels.”
There are 535 voting members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives combined. Twenty five of them — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — have signed onto the “No Labels” group. It's a coalition aimed at coming to agreements and combating Congress's reputation as polarized.
The lone Wisconsin lawmaker on the panel is Rep. Reid Ribble, a Republican from northeastern Wisconsin's 8th District. He says the idea is to get beyond side-taking news pundits and come to terms with people on the other side of the aisle.
“The news has now begun to take sides on things. If you're a Democrat you listen to NBC and MSNBC. If you're a Republican you listen to Fox,” he said. “And you have a tendency to listen to people who have an affinity with and agree with you because it's always nice to feel that there are people with the same ideological viewpoint you have. And in reality there's a shaded glasses view to life when you do that.”
The meeting in New York brought together members of “No Labels” and citizen volunteers. He says the plan is to meet at least twice a month. Ribble is beginning his second term and says he understands if his constituents are skeptical of the group's mission, “but the idea that we shouldn't try is something I'd reject because of cynicism.”
“No Labels” backers' first order of business this year will be to introduce legislation that would suspend lawmakers' pay if they do not pass a budget.