GOP, Dem reps discuss goals of Problem Solvers Caucus

Time to take action: The program, entitled “The Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress: The Place for Deal-Making and Bipartisan Action,” was moderated by A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics, and focused on issues ranging from infrastructure investment to civility.

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, members of Congress highlight bipartisanship at Problem Solvers Conference.

By Tom Waring

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.) joined a panel of members of Congress as part of the No Labels Problem Solvers Conference to discuss the goals of the Problem Solvers Caucus and the role of bipartisanship in crafting legislation in the 115th Congress.

The program, entitled “The Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress: The Place for Deal-Making and Bipartisan Action,” was moderated by A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics, and focused on issues ranging from infrastructure investment to civility.

“Last year, Harvard released a report that concluded: ‘The federal government has made no meaningful progress on the critical policy steps to restore U.S. competitiveness in the last decade or more…Today, we believe that our political system is now the major obstacle to progress on the economy, especially at the federal level.’ That should be unacceptable to every member of Congress and every American,” Fitzpatrick said. “I understand there are differences between Democrats and Republicans. But on the issues where there is common ground, we must move forward together. I’m committed to working with any member of this Congress to break this cycle and make government work for the American people once more.”

Fitzpatrick joined the Problem Solvers Caucus on his first day in Congress. Earlier this year, Fitzpatrick joined 23 Democratic and Republican members of the caucus in sending a letter to then President-Elect Trump stating the group was ready to work with the incoming administration on both tax reform and rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

Fitzpatrick wore his No Labels ‘Fix, Not Fight’ lapel pin to the president’s address to a joint session of Congress.

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In other news, Fitzpatrick released a bland statement regarding the president’s largely well-received address to a joint session of Congress.

“While there will be competing reactions from both sides, it’s imperative that this Congress – and this country – find areas of agreement and common goals to focus on. From tax reform and infrastructure investment to ensuring a government accountable to the people it serves, I’m ready to work with groups like the Problem Solvers Caucus to make these bipartisan objectives a reality. As an independent voice for the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties, I am of the firm belief that there is far more that unites us than divides us.” 

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Legislation requiring schools to provide parents of children in grades five through 12 with information about eating disorders was introduced in the House by state Rep. Perry Warren.

“Eating disorders are real and devastating,” Warren said. “These complex conditions have serious health consequences that impact a person’s productivity and relationships.”

The legislation (H.B. 531) also would create guidelines for local school boards that exercise an optional development of an eating-disorder screening program with appropriate opt-out and exemption procedures, specify training requirements for personnel and volunteers, and provide the framework for parental notification procedures in the event of a positive indication of an eating disorder.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that our children have a way to get the help they need,” Warren said. “These serious conditions are not fads, phases or lifestyle choices, but are potentially life-threatening conditions that affect emotional and physical health. The earlier we can provide help to those who are struggling with an eating disorder, the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery.”

Warren explained that H.B. 531 would make accessing help easier for a child suffering from an eating disorder, as school districts would have materials and resources for parents readily available, and if needed via trained personnel and volunteers in each district, the ability to provide additional support to those students in need of professional services.

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders at some point in their lives, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or a binge-eating disorder. 

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U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick delivered a “State of the Nation Address” to members of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, highlighting his work during his first two months in office.

The speech focused on the outlook of tax reform in the 115th Congress, efforts to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic, and a commitment to increasing civility locally and nationally.

The congressman called for civility, honesty, trust and open-mindedness among members of Congress.

Congress, he said, should place a priority on rebuilding the economy, beginning with enacting tax reform and reining in government spending. To ensure robust, inclusive growth, he said, lawmakers must simultaneously make the tax code flatter and fairer, while forcing Washington to spend within its means.

Lawmakers, he said, have a responsibility to act on the opioid addiction epidemic. Congress must address the trafficking of narcotics across the border and preventing the overprescribing of painkillers.

“The epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse – and the strains it puts on our communities and families – is too important to be put on the backburner or cast aside in favor of partisan bickering and campaigning,” Fitzpatrick said. ••

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