Fed up with inaction, the bipartisan couple are urging leaders to put more on the ground

In their plan, Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania call on their leadership to move forward on seven areas, including an energy plan to cut gas prices, legislation to invest in law enforcement, a mental health assistance bill veterans’ health, to drive down prescription drug costs and invest in cancer research, and a more controversial push to deadlock the administration on a key immigration decision.
It’s the latest example of members running for re-election in some of the country’s toughest districts, trying to get important legislation across the finish line before mid-election year politics overshadows what’s possible on the ground. It also comes as efforts to revive a Democrat-only package on energy, taxes and prescription drugs look weak at best in the US Senate.

“We need to focus on sensible, bipartisan actions that can actually be done and bring people together,” Gottheimer said. “I hear that from people at home. These are all areas where both sides can come together and actually get things done.”

Areas include several bipartisan pieces of legislation on which members have already collaborated, bills that Gottheimer argues would have a good chance of passing if only put to the vote.

Members are also urging leadership to act quickly to block the government’s decision to end Title 42 on May 23, a flash point between some Democrats on Capitol Hill and the government. The Trump-era immigration regulation used under former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden has allowed border officials to quickly return migrants to their home countries, citing a public health crisis. The order is expected to be reversed at the end of May, but the decision to end it has frustrated some frontline Democrat members, who have argued the government still does not have an adequate plan to deal with an expected surge in the number of people Migration to finish once the order ends. Many of the moderate Democrats up for re-election have been hit at home by Republican attacks on immigration.
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The Title 42 issue has become a major flashpoint in the Senate, where immigration policy delayed passage of a $10 billion Covid-19 relief package before the break. Republicans had insisted on a vote on an amendment that would have prevented the administration from exiting the policy. But Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, had refused to allow the amendment, arguing that immigration policy and Covid-19 funding were separate issues.

Going ahead to block the administration in Title 42 would certainly meet strong opposition from some progressives who had been pushing the administration on the issue for months.

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