Although they come from different political parties, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman appear united in their desire to expand a group of “problem solvers” in Congress charged with breaking the toxic bipartisan divide in Washington.
Manchin and Huntsman, a former Republican governor who launched an unsuccessful bid in 2011 for the GOP nomination for president, spoke with area reporters Tuesday to help formally introduce the “No Labels” movement, a grassroots national organization that is currently supported by 25 members of Congress. The group is currently evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans.
“There is a relationship we build, and when you build relationships you can really move the needle,” Manchin said. “As a U.S. senator, in the two years I’ve been here, I’ve not been invited or asked, nor has anything been organized as a bipartisan caucus where we sit down as Democrats and Republicans and talk about differences. We spend more time back and forth traveling all across the country. Something is broken when you are not building relationships, and you don’t really know people.”
That lack of cooperation and compromise must change if Congress is to effectively govern, and deal with issues such as the looming debt ceiling debate, Huntsman said.
For more on the No Labels movement, and what Manchin and Huntsman are hoping to accomplish, read Wednesday's edition of the Daily Telegraph.