As Shutdown Reaches Day 28, Ripon Society Holds Bipartisan Discussion with 2 Leaders Who are Trying to Bring It to an End

By on January 18, 2019 in Featured News, News

WASHINGTON, DC — With the ongoing shutdown of the federal government now reaching 28 days – the longest in U.S. history, The Ripon Society and Franklin Center hosted a bipartisan breakfast discussion yesterday morning with two leaders who are trying to bring the stalemate to an end.

The leaders were Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who represents the 1st District of Pennsylvania, and Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi, who represents the 3rd District of New York.  First elected to the House in 2016, Fitzpatrick and Suozzi are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group dedicated to working across the aisle and finding bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing America.  To that end, they traveled to the White House on Wednesday to meet with the President and see if an agreement to reopen the government can be reached.

“We appreciate Congressman Fitzpatrick and Congressman Suozzi for taking the time to join us yesterday morning,” stated Ripon Society President & CEO Jim Conzelman. “These are busy times, to say the least. They are also uncertain times. From the need to stem the flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border to the need to get civil servants back to work, America is facing a number of real problems that demand real solutions – solutions designed not to cater to any political base, but to serve the American people as a whole.

“It’s been done before.  23 years ago this month, Congress had just concluded what was the longest government shutdown at the time.  Neither side wanted to budge, and neither side wanted to give an inch.  But eventually, cooler heads prevailed.  The agreement that was reached in 1996 to reopen the government after 21 days led to agreements to balance the budget and reform welfare over the course of the following year.

“One can only hope a similar conclusion is reached in the current shutdown debate. When an agreement is reached, I know it will be because of the efforts of leaders like Brian Fitzpatrick and Tom Suozzi, who are putting country before party and doing what they believe serves the interests of the American people best.”

According to Conzelman, yesterday’s discussion was the 5th event The Ripon Society has held so far in 2019.  It was also, he noted, the first of many bipartisan events the organization plans to hold.  “In this polarized environment,” he concluded, “we need to do more to bring Republicans and Democrats together.  That’s one of our goals for 2019, and something we hope to achieve in the coming year.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

Founded in 1978, The Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to enhancing global understanding of important international issues.  The Franklin Center brings together Members of the U.S. Congress and their international parliamentary counterparts as well as experts from the Diplomatic corps, foreign officials, senior private sector representatives, scholars, and other public policy experts.  Through regular conferences and events where leading international opinion leaders share ideas, the Franklin Center promotes enlightened, balanced, and unbiased international policy discussion on major international issues.

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