January 14th, 2013
10:01 AM ET
1 year ago

No Labels wants to get Republicans and Democrats talking

(CNN) – As Americans remain fed-up with Congress, who are largely seen as "do-nothing," one group is setting aside talk of action and starting with a more modest goal: talking.

"The only way we're going to get traction on the issues that really do matter - whether it's balancing budgets, energy, immigration, you name it - is to get some people, Republicans and Democrats alike, who agree to meet on a regular basis and focus on problem solving," Jon Huntsman, a national leader of the group "No Labels," said Monday on CNN's "Starting Point."

Huntsman, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former governor of Utah, said the partisan temperature in Washington had reached a "boiling point" that prevents members of opposing parties from cooperating. His group is unveiling a list of current lawmakers at an event in New York Monday who plan to meet on a regular basis in an attempt to lower the heat in the Capitol.

Huntsman is joined by Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, as a national leader of No Labels. Manchin said Monday that in his two years as a lawmaker in Washington, he has yet to attend a bipartisan meeting of senators "where Democrats and Republicans talked about the problems of the day, to try to find commonality."

"Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, whether you're a conservative or liberal, and you really want to get things done, you have to be able to have that dialogue," Manchin continued. "Never did I think I would go to the Senate and make history in being the least productive Congress in the history of our country. I'm frustrated, and I want to do things."

One way to get Congress working: enforce a 5-day work week, with the House and Senate coordinating schedules. Currently Congress is generally only in session on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Another No Labels proposal stipulates that if members of Congress don't pass annual budgets and spending bills on time, they won't get paid.

And then there are those bipartisan meetings, which No Labels says should take place monthly and remain off-the-record. Manchin asserted Monday the appetite for such meetings was strong among his colleagues.

"There's more people in the Senate, whether it be Democrats or Republicans, that are well intentioned, that want to get something accomplished. They just haven't had the opportunity," he said. "No Labels provides that vehicle, that venue. If you want to solve a problem, if you're in Congress right now and you're as frustrated as I am, whether you're Democrat or Republican, then join No Labels and come to our problem solving meetings."


Filed under: Congress • Joe Manchin • Jon Huntsman
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Name lynn

    i really wouldnt want to hear from the republicans yet i would listen to them democrates its wack that people dont want to compromise with them democrates nor them republicans

    January 14, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Edwin

    I like it. Instead of trying to create policy, Huntsman is trying to create a less toxic atmosphere.

    January 14, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Seravo

    Isn't "No Labels" just another label?

    January 14, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Sniffit

    That's nice. Problem is that the very very last thign the GOP/Teatrolls can allow to happen is compromise, progress and recovery. They simply CANNOT allow it to occur under a Dem POTUS who is pushing largely Keynesian economic solutions. This concept doesn't need detailed explanation. You know it. I know it. They know it. The rest of the world knows it. Allowing success by a Dem POTUS would irreparably harm the GOP/Teatrolls and they have already painted themselves into a corner that's seeing them suffer continuing damage and existential threats from the demographic shifts in the country, etc. They have two choices as far as they are concerned: somehow, magically, win every battle OR take everyone down with them. Given that the former has proven impossible for them, they're left with the latter.

    January 14, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. sonny chapman

    America needs to exercise more & watch less Fox News.

    January 14, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Republicans and dems do need to work together for the good of the country. But the far left need to understand that we must have real cuts in spending. And to the older americans ( 50 or older) please stop trying to take whats not yours to have. It was your group that bought big homes that you could not afford.and it was your group that spent all of your money and 2nd mortgage your homes trying to send that child of yours to college With the rich kids. Now your broke and you want us(40 and younger) to pay and suffer.how dare you!

    January 14, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. James Bond

    Jcin, wrong, and yes, your republicans will not go for it, grover and the koch bros will have nothing to do with it, so the republicans wont show, they wont risk losing their sugar daddies, just as well, all the money in the world cant change the peoples will, simply cant wait to send them packing in 14. dont write, we wont miss you

    January 14, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. CommonSense

    Reading these comments on the forums just reinforces the attitude in Washington. You can start a dialogue to find common ground by calling the people on the other side of the table names.

    January 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    well Joe, it's like this – at least you're not following in your dad's footprints – when your dad was impeached from the house of delegates in 1989 – for money laundering / corruption, & etc. I remember your Dad very well- as a matter of fact, I've even Voted for him, back in the 1970's – - A James Manchin – look it up on google.

    January 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. ghostriter

    The difference between the parties now is that the extreme right has more pull than the extreme left. And thus we have the issues we are sitting on.

    There isn't much room for compromise when the line starts at disagreeing with anything the other side says...even before the other side has said anything.

    January 14, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Job-training, cut immigration in hyper unemployment. Not enough qualified??? BS. Job-train. Are Chinese, Indians in those nations qualified????????

    January 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. CommonSense

    Typo, I meant – You can't start a dialogue to find common ground by calling the people on the other side of the table names.

    January 14, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Sure,
    As long as it is common sense. The Liberal's and Obama are trying to Re-Invent the Soviet Union where the State Controlls everything. If that happens, kiss the country good by. The Senate at least needs to take up the Budget. Sorry but the Republicians have been comprmising the last 80 years. We now have a 16.4 Trillion Dollar Federal debt to show for it. No more compromising.

    Remove all Social Programs from the Federal Government where they are illigal and Unconstutitional. Book your own life.

    January 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. judy

    lot's of name calling before these two even get started. The American people can not go on another 4 years with the gridlock from this congress. Nothing will get done and we are sick of it. If we can start a dialogue then great . Hope this works because someone has to be the adult.

    January 14, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. rs

    836 Americans dead by guns since Newtown Massacre a MONTH ago. The insanity must stop. We need sane gun control: re-establish the assault weapons ban; institute registration, taxes on guns and ammo to pay for security; background checks for all loopholes- private sales and gun shows; end large capacity clips- 10 rounds max.

    January 14, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. rs

    J'Cincinnati'Redd-
    We have the lowest tax rates in 60 years! I say go back to Eisenhower's time when the top rate was 87%. The thing is we ALL need to pay more taxes- and we need to spend less- especially on Defense contracts to Halliburton.

    January 14, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. rs

    Rick McDaniel-

    Seeing imaginary dictators again are we?

    January 14, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I like the effort on behalf of these gentlemen, but democrats are not the one's willing to not compromise on anything. This is a war within the republican party. It's the moderates versus the extremists and the extremists are winning.

    January 14, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. rs

    Ray E. (Georgia)

    Be honest- where do you get that crap? Or, do you make it up yourself?

    January 14, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    rs

    "836 Americans dead by guns since Newtown Massacre a MONTH ago. The insanity must stop. We need sane gun control: re-establish the assault weapons ban; institute registration, taxes on guns and ammo to pay for security; background checks for all loopholes- private sales and gun shows; end large capacity clips- 10 rounds max."
    ------–
    When the next tragedy occurs when some nut job goes into a school with 2 10-round handguns with a spare clip for each (40 rounds) and kills 30, what are you going to ask for to be banned then?

    January 14, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    I think "No Labels" is a polite way of saying no extremist partisan politics are allowed in the room. The ideology of "no compromise" is not only not welcome, but it is being phased out.

    January 14, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair asked:

    When the next tragedy occurs when some nut job goes into a school with 2 10-round handguns with a spare clip for each (40 rounds) and kills 30, what are you going to ask for to be banned then?
    ------------------
    Nah. The good guy with a gun is supposed to shoot him when he changes clips. Please try to keep up.

    Some of the folks out there sound worse than the Klingons. I hope you are not one of them.

    January 14, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. sonnie3

    Post here are even turning to gun talk
    The idea I thought was to get Congress to jell into a unified body to serve we the people with common sense and the ability to prepare a budget and stiick to it. Hope it happens as your future generations are in limbo for some rude surprises if Congress cant do what is important to Americia. Term limits would solve most all of our problems with congress as they could get on with something beside reelection to a cussy job with no responsibilitys other than to fill the own pockets.

    January 14, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. GI Joe

    The republicans in the House have offices in DC yet they are going to travel to Williamsburg VA for a meeting and charge us with the bill for 220 hotel rooms, meals, travel, etc. WHY?

    I can see some waste to be cut by them right there.

    January 14, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Hill

    I am not a member of either party but I would vote for Manchin any day. They guy makes sense more than any other Democrat or Republican. I am a gun owner and enthusiast but he is reasonable and inroads could be made with his leadership. You see the same old posters here bashing one group or another and they are carbon copies of what we have as most of the Senators or Congressman running the country. Without new leadership in all areas with are stuck in neutral.

    January 14, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
1 2