About the Caucus
Beginning in 2017, the Problem Solvers Caucus became an independent member-driven group in Congress, comprised of representatives from across the country – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – committed to finding common ground on many of the key issues facing the nation. Co-Chaired by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), the Caucus’ aim is to create a durable bloc that champions ideas that appeal to a broad spectrum of the American people. It is a group united in the idea that there are commonsense solutions to many of the country's toughest challenges. Only when we work together as Americans can we successfully break through the gridlock of today’s politics.
In the 115th and 116th Congress, Problem Solvers Caucus members agreed to find bipartisan solutions on issues including:
Coronavirus Recovery and Contingency Planning: The Problem Solvers Caucus and a bipartisan group of Senators announced a four-month bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 emergency relief framework that would help American students, families, small businesses, workers, and health care providers during this crisis, together as the '908 Coalition' drafting the COVID relief legislation that was turned into law. Earlier in the year, Problem Solvers’ released the most comprehensive bipartisan document to come out of Congress in its Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist detailing benchmarks that will need to be hit to reopen safely. In addition, the Caucus was forward-looking in encouraging leadership early on to consider remote options for Member participation and voting, drafting a letter and livestreaming a “Virtual Congress” demonstrating that it is viable to continue legislative business during the crisis in a safe, modernized way.
Infrastructure: Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for reinvestment in America’s infrastructure, congressional gridlock has caused our nation’s highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, and water and sewer systems to fall into disrepair. The Problem Solvers' report "Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure," is a comprehensive bipartisan proposal that includes recommendations on building a twenty-first century infrastructure for a twenty-first century economy.
Health Care: Beginning in the 115th Congress, the Caucus identified and promoted several commonsense proposals to help stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace and reduce health care costs, especially the price of prescription drugs. In 2019, the Caucus released a list of principles for lowering drug prices for people in a bipartisan, bicameral way with Senators Susan Collins, Joe Manchin and Bill Cassidy. These principles include a decisive statement on price and patent transparency, accessibility, and research and development.
Immigration: In June 2019, the Caucus voted as a bloc to deliver aid to children and families at the border that might have otherwise been delayed due to partisan divides in the House and Senate. In a continued dedication to the issue, Members of the Caucus traveled together to tour a border facility and analyze the situation firsthand. Problem Solvers are in ongoing discussions to explore viable solutions building upon the agreements drafted last Congress.
Criminal Justice Reform: Working with a bipartisan coalition, including Van Jones, Jared Kushner, Grover Norquist, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the Problem Solvers Caucus helped Congress pass much-needed criminal justice reform to provide relief for those who earn and deserve a second chance in the 115th Congress.
Rules Reform: On January 3, 2019, the House enacted an unprecedented agreement made with Leader Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman McGovern, known as “Break the Gridlock.” These commonsense congressional rule changes promote increased openness, bipartisanship, and transparency, by instituting a new “Consensus Calendar” for any bill with more than 290 cosponsors, requiring three days’ notice for Committee mark-ups, and preferential treatment for popular bipartisan amendments. For the first time in two decades, the new rules package received support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Gun & School Safety: The Problem Solvers Caucus agreed to support H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017; H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act of 2018; H.R. 4811, the Securing Our Schools Act of 2018; and appropriations to fund mental health programs established by the 21st Century Cures Act, all of which were passed by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed into law.