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UPDATED: State Of The Union 2013: From One Night Stand to Committed Relationship

No Labels' Problem Solvers Grows to 42 Republicans & Democrats as Members Don "Stop Fighting, Start Fixing" Pins at State of the Union

After Last Year's Push to Get Members to Sit Together at State of the Union, Problem Solvers Say Now It's Time to Work Together

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Forty congressional Democrats and Republicans are preparing to proudly tout their membership in No Labels' "problem solvers" group by wearing the group's "Stop Fighting, Start Fixing" lapel pin at President Obama's State of the Union address. The gesture marks a significant step toward more substantive cooperation in Congress one year after No Labels led the charge to convince more than 200 members to sit with members of the other party at the SOTU.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130208/DC55984LOGO)

The problem solvers comprise a group of congressional Democrats and Republicans who have agreed to meet regularly to build trust across the aisle. First announced at No Labels' Meeting to Make America Work! on January 14, the problem solvers have already held their first meeting and have managed to recruit a dozen additional colleagues. The group will be working to convince more colleagues to "get pinned" in the days before the State of the Union and aims to have 70 or more members by year-end.

"Wearing this pin is a statement that we've got to do a lot more than sit together.  We've got to work together," said No Labels Honorary Co-Chair Sen. Joe Manchin. "The 'problem solvers' is quite literally the only forum in DC where Democrats and Republicans can sit across from one another to discuss issues and forge solutions. I'm wearing this pin to the State of the Union because I think the 'problem solvers' can play a big role in breaking the gridlock in this town and because I want more of my colleagues to join."

"Members from opposing parties increasingly don't know or talk with one another," added No Labels Honorary Co-Chair Gov. Jon Huntsman. "Schedules are packed when in DC and at home, leaving precious little time to build relationships across the aisle. The 'problem solvers' provides a crucial opportunity to open up the lines of communication."

"I look forward to joining my colleagues in wearing the 'Stop Fighting, Start Fixing' pin at the State of the Union address. We all agree that Washington is broken and that America's future is threatened by hyper-partisanship and gridlock. These pins are a sign that we don't have to abandon our principles. We just have to commit to problem solving and getting something done," said Sen. Dean Heller.

"There is no ideological litmus test to join this group," said No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston. "We welcome everyone – left, right and everything in between – so long as they are willing to collaborate with one another to seek shared success for America. This new attitude is what No Labels is all about, and we are excited to see so many members publicly embrace it at this year's State of the Union."

No Labels is working aggressively with the current crop of 'problem solvers' to actively recruit new members to the group and today sent invitation letters to all members of Congress. Click here to see the letter.

The following members of Congress will be wearing the orange lapel pin at the State of the Union:

Senators:

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)*
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Representatives:

Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)
Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)*
Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY)
Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)*
Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME)
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY)
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)
Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI)
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

(*starred members are new additions)

No Labels is a grassroots movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, by providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems, and by pushing for common-sense reforms from our Make Congress Work! action plan like No Budget, No Pay. To arrange an interview with a No Labels co-founder, please contact Kelsey McLaughlin at [email protected] or (202) 588-1990. To learn more about No Labels, please visit www.NoLabels.org and follow along with the State of the Union using the hashtag #FixNotFight.

SOURCE No Labels

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