Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has been named one of the two co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, though that isn’t stopping Democrats from targeting the moderate Republican next year.
Since Fitzpatrick’s election in 2016 to succeed his brother Mike in Congress, he has embraced bipartisanship. In fact, in 2020 the Lunger Center at Georgetown University announced that Fitzpatrick received the highest “Bipartisan Index score” the Center has ever recorded. So, it is little surprise in 2021 Fitzpatrick, whose district voted for Clinton and Biden, would take a leading role in the Problem Solvers Caucus.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, which was created in 2017 is comprised equally of Republicans and Democrats. The 56 member group announced it will be chaired by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick on the Republican side, and Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey on the Democrat side.
“It is an honor to have been elected Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. I look forward to working alongside my friend, fellow Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer, and PSC colleagues, as we continue our joint mission of building bridges, engaging in productive, bipartisan conversations and debates, and working to find common ground on every key issue facing our nation,” said Fitzpatrick. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative we continue our efforts of bringing people together in the spirit of bipartisanship to best serve our constituents and country. Together, we are most successful, and together, we can deliver real results to communities across the country.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put Fitzpatrick on their list of targeted Republicans earlier this week. “Every single Republican on this list voted against putting checks in pockets and shots in arms, and we’re going to make sure voters in their district know it,” said DCCC Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “The DCCC is prepared to protect our majority by recruiting compelling candidates and empowering their campaigns with the resources they need to draw the contrast between Democrats’ record of fighting for the middle class and Republicans’ toxic brand of defending conspiratorial insurrectionists and opposing direct relief for working families.”
The DCCC has repeatedly attempted to link Fitzpatrick to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, inspiring a Washington Post article calling the political attacks “misleading.”
“Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent from a Pennsylvania swing district…voted for a nonbinding resolution condemning QAnon in October 2020,” the paper reported.
The Problem Solvers Caucus has identified areas they would like to address in 117th Congress, including many major issues such as infrastructure, COVID-19 relief, along with and immigration and border security. But they also pledged to work on other issues, like broadband expansion, small business reform and the national debt.
“With a narrowly divided House and Senate, the Problem Solvers Caucus will continue to work closely, across the aisle, and with both Chambers, to tackle some of our country’s toughest challenges with civility,” according to the caucus’ 117th Congress Priority Agenda. “These problems require bipartisan consensus and respectful collaboration to ensure long-term solutions. Gridlock and partisanship will serve no one.”
One notable issue the caucus has embraced is energy and climate.
“The Caucus will continue to work to promote clean energy innovation and an-all-of the above energy policy to guide us into the future,” according to the website. This policy stands in contrast to the Green New Deal’s desire to end certain energy industries, like fracking, right away. They also list Election Security as an important issue as well.
The success or failure of the first half of the Biden Administration may very well rest on the ability of people like Fitzpatrick and Gottheimer to pull together moderates in Congress. With President Biden’s latest Infrastructure already seeing pushback from Republicans and Democrats, groups like the Problem Solvers might be the key to Legislative accomplishments.