secret that Washington is broken. Most issues are seen as ideological
battles to be won rather than practical problems to be solved. Rep. Welch
is working to change that. On Monday, he co-founded a bipartisan group
with the purpose of breaking the gridlock in Congress. Read more
about his efforts below.
"Congressional Problem Solvers"
By Bob Kinzel
Congressman Peter Welch has joined a
small, bi-partisan group of Senators and House members who want to
change the political dialogue in
Welch says the change is needed because Congress is currently a
"dysfunctional institution" that is unable to reach common ground on many of
the key issues facing the country.
group is known as "the Problem Solvers" and it's comprised of 13
Democrats and 13 Republicans.
Welch says the goal
of the group is cut across party lines to deal with a number of
critical issues. That's something that he says simply doesn't happen in
Washington's current political climate.
"Congress is not working. I mean that is really apparent to the American
people and it's certainly apparent to a lot of us in Congress," said Welch.
"And one of the reasons is that the way we're set up we spend very
little time actually interacting talking about where is the way
And Welch says the group also believes
that many people are fed up with the partisan bickering in
"People know that compromise is not a four
letter word, it's not abandoning the principles in fact if you have a
principle and you want to actually act on it," said Welch. "You have to
find a practical way to do that and the American people are
frustrated with the dysfunction of this
While the group might disagree on some major issues, Welch is hoping
that they can make progress on a number of smaller but important
"So instead of a big debate about
global warming which is really important to me let's at least do
something on efficiency that can create jobs and save money and help the
Retired Middlebury College
political science professor Eric Davis thinks the formation of the group
is a key development that could produce some important
"If one of the things this group can do is simply
get members from both parties talking to each other realizing that on
some smaller scale issues there might be common ground," said Davis.
"And perhaps most importantly recognizing that people on the other
side of the aisle are not ogres they're not demons but they're people who
on some issues have got ideas that can produce cooperative
Davis says Welch was chosen for the group
because over the past 6 years, Welch has developed a solid reputation as
a Democrat who is willing to work with Republican members on issues
of common interest.