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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congress' Problem Solvers Bloc urges lawmakers to work across party lines

By Garrett L. Poorman
March 18, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

An open letter to Rep. Vicky Hartzler:

I am contacting you as both a member of your constituency and on behalf of Tigers Against Partisan Politics, a prominent student organization at MU. The purpose for my letter is to encourage you to join an ever-growing group of 50 senators and representatives that have formed a "Problem Solvers Bloc" under the leadership of No Labels, a political organization that advocates for bipartisanship and problem solving in Congress.

TAPP’s mission is to provide a setting for students to learn about political issues in an open, honest and unbiased manner. TAPP also works to advocate for the establishment of civility across the aisle. We collectively approve of the Problem Solvers' initiative and hope to find ourselves successful in encouraging you to join us in supporting this cause. Over the next month, you can expect to receive a great number of individual letters from TAPP members echoing our cause. The students you will be hearing from are your constituents, and representing their interests is your responsibility.

The partisan gridlock that grips our Congress threatens the future of this nation. The congressional Problem Solvers are a group of House and Senate members who meet regularly to build trust across the aisle and break that gridlock. Every time a new representative joins the Bloc, the group grows a little stronger, and America gets a little closer to finding solutions to the daunting problems that stand before us.

I’m sure you are aware that the recently passed “No Budget, No Pay” bill (H.R. 325), which you publicly supported, was first conceptualized by No Labels. It is obvious that this organization is one with growing influence. TAPP feels it is imperative that lawmakers take part in efforts to increase communication and trust between liberals and conservatives. Expanding the size and inclusiveness of the Problem Solvers Bloc is just the first step on our path toward a more civilized national debate.

I hope you give serious consideration to the idea of officially becoming a “Problem Solver” by joining No Labels’ Problem Solvers Bloc. In doing so, you would be joining a group of outstanding congressmen and women in an effort to find common ground. That effort will inevitably lead to legislative solutions that help your constituents overcome some of the challenges they face as a part of everyday life. On behalf of TAPP’s entire Executive Board, thank you for your time and consideration.

TAPP encourages citizens across the Fourth District, especially the Columbia area, to join us in this effort. Letters should be sent to:

The Honorable Vicky Hartzler, United States House of Representatives, 1023 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515.

Garrett L. Poorman is director of education and advocacy for Tigers Against Partisan Politics.