Jan 29, 2019 - 3:00pm

The Courage and Leadership Needed to Govern in Washington


Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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The Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

During the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history, several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demonstrated a willingness to set party label aside and support bipartisan compromises to reopen the government and support federal workers, including our law enforcement officers.

On one side, they included Republican lawmakers like Reps. Rodney Davis (IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Will Hurd (TX), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Christopher Smith (NJ), Elise Stefanik (NY), Fred Upton (MI), and Greg Walden (OR). They all boldly reached across the aisle to work with Democrats to end the shutdown.

At the same time, you had Democratic members like Reps. Joe Cunningham (SC), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Jared Golden (ME), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Conor Lamb (PA), Ben McAdams (Utah), Xochitl Torres Small (NM), Jeff Van Drew (NJ) and Max Rose (NY) working constructively with their Republican counterparts to bring government employees back to work.

That’s the type of courage and leadership we need going forward in Washington – and it’s the exact style of governing U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue called for earlier this month in his State of American Business address. As he noted during his speech, “Many of Washington’s troubles – including dysfunction, division, and incivility – could be helped by rebuilding the political center and restoring responsible governing,”

Supporting common sense ideas – no matter which party puts them forward – will be required to tackle other important challenges, including finally modernizing our country’s crumbling infrastructure and fixing our broken immigration system.

Read more: Fallout from the shutdown

About the Author

About the Author

Headshot of Neil Bradley
Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has spent two decades working directly with congressional committee chairpersons and other high-ranking policymakers to achieve solutions.