Bipartisanship in the News


Defense trumps taxes in New Hampshire
By: Jonathan Allen
From: Politico
September 28, 2012

New Hampshire's a libertarian-leaning, tax-hating, small-government swing state. But there’s something more important to Granite State voters than all that dogma: defense jobs. The state’s U.S. senators, Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, called this week for a “balanced, bipartisan deficit-reduction package” to replace the automatic sequestration cuts Congress and the president put in place last year when they cut a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.

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Senators Form Bi-partisan UAS Caucus
By: Press
From: sUSA news
September 28, 2012

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member on Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced today the formation of the Senate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Caucus. The mission of the bipartisan caucus will be to educate Senators and staff on the capabilities and concerns of UAS and to work closely together to best shape the UAS policymaking process.

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A Call for Civility In American Politics
By: Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and Dan Glickman (D-KS)
From: Roll Call
January 24, 2012

Just a little more than a year ago, a gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) at a meeting she was holding with constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Even though the shooter did not appear to be motivated by a political agenda, the intimate portrait of Giffords that emerged prompted many who engage in what now passes for political “conversation” to reassess the increasing tendency toward demonization of those whose beliefs or experiences have led them to hold positions different from our own.

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Obama Military Strategy: Is it bipartisan enough?
By: Monitor Editorial Board
From: The Christan Science Monitor
January 5, 2012

President Obama needed a Security Strategy before asking for big cuts in defense. His plan from the Pentagon calls for America to take more risks, create a lean force, and focus on Asia. But he'll need buy in from Congress to make it stick.

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Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger: Bipartisan Cooperation Evident on Intelligence
By: Dutch Ruppersberger
From: The Baltimore Sun
December 22, 2011

Last week, Congress passed legislation authorizing spending for our country's 16 intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fact that the bill passed with little fanfare in this heated political climate makes a big statement.

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Senator Hutchison Leads Bipartisan Effort on Behalf of Women's Rights in Afghanistan
By: Amanda Russo
From: Chron.com
December 6, 2011

Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison led a bipartisan movement of 26 congressional women this week to promote the rights of women in Afghanistan. See the full list of signatories and the full letter on the website!

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President Obama Signs Into Law Isakson’s Bipartisan Bill To Protect Peace Corps Volunteers
By: Patricia Williams
From: Politicalnews.me
November 26, 2011

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signed into law the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, which was introduced by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., earlier this year. Isakson and the Puzey family were present for the signing ceremony this afternoon at the White House.

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On the Menu: Bipartisanship
By: Manu Raju
From: Politico
November 7, 2011

A sleepy room on the first floor of the chamber — known to senators as the “Inner Sanctum” — has been recently transformed into a full-fledged bipartisan hangout, filled with hors d’oeuvres of meats and cheeses, wine, soft drinks and across-the-aisle gossip.

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Officials Say Bipartisan Deal on Cybersecurity Possible
By: Laura MacInnis
From: Insurance Journal
October 21, 2011

Senior Obama administration officials and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators agreed on Wednesday to push for cybersecurity legislation as quickly as possible, the White House said Thursday.

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Judge Ted Poe and his bipartisan posse lay down the (foreign aid) law
By: Archana Palaniappan
From: Oxfam - Politics of Poverty Blog
October 20, 2011

Bipartisan. Remember that word? It’s been a while since we heard a tale of true bipartisan support in Washington. In a time when it feels like politicians care more about their party line than the people’s bottom line, one bill is finding support across the aisle for values we can all get behind.

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Bipartisan Group of Senators Show Support for Refinancing Bill
By: Michael Kraus
From: Total Mortgage Services
October 14, 2011

Last Tuesday, a bipartisan group of sixteen Senators wrote a letter to federal regulators endorsing a broad refinance program in order to help the housing market.  The letter was addressed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, The U.S. Treasury, The National Economic Council, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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Webb-Warner Schools Bill Draws Bipartisan Support
By: Ben Pershing
From: Washington Post
October 14, 2011

A relatively rare outbreak of bipartisanship spread across Virginia Wednesday, as top officials from both parties came forward to support a bill that would provide tax credits for fixing up aging school buildings.

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Ron Kirk: Bipartisan Trade Deals could Boost Economy
By: Ron Kirk
From: Politico
October 5, 2011

Over the past few weeks, President Barack Obama has challenged Congress to come together to approve trade agreements, renew strengthened Trade Adjustment Assistance and pass the American Jobs Act — legislation that would put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

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Hill Finds Elusive Harmony on Trade
By: Scott Wong
From: Politico
October 2, 2011

Congress hasn’t had much to celebrate in a year dominated by bitter spending battles and partisan dysfunction. So lawmakers from both parties are heralding the pending passage of a major free-trade package as a victory — and a sign that Washington isn’t entirely broken.

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Dole Says Senate Needs More Bipartisanship
By: John Hanna
From: Chron.com
September 30, 2011

Former U.S Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole called Friday for greater civility and trust in Congress as Kansas honored him with the first spot on a new "Walk of Honor" at its Statehouse.

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An old-school trick: Put country first
By: David Ignatius
From: Washington Post
September 16, 2010


Quote: "[Lee] Hamilton offered a simple formula for maintaining sanity in this period of insane politics: Put the interests of your country first. 'You must encourage the mind-set that if you're elected, your first obligation is to see that America works and succeeds,' he said. Political loyalties must come second. "

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Bipartisan Spring
By: Robert Kagan
From: Foreign Policy
March 3, 2010


Quote: "Unnoticed amid the sniping in Washington over health care and the wailing about "broken government," a broad and durable bipartisan consensus has begun falling into place in one unlikely area: foreign policy. Consider the fact that on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran -- the most difficult, expensive, and potentially dangerous foreign challenges facing the United States -- precious little now separates Barack Obama from most Republican leaders in and out of Congress. Compared with recent decades, this much bipartisan agreement is remarkable."


"Obama therefore has a chance to place himself at the head of a renewed foreign policy tradition that enjoys broad support. But the rebirth of the bipartisan consensus can easily be aborted by foolish or wrongheaded behavior on both sides. Obama will have to leave his party's left wing behind, and perhaps some of his own predilections. Republicans, meanwhile, will have to restrain a tendency to see in Obama's every action some betrayal of U.S. security, even when his policies, if not his rhetoric, move in the right direction. "
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Alan Simpson on Bipartisanship, and the Deficit Commission
By: Mary Kate Cary
From: U.S. News & World Report
March 3, 2010


Quote: "Compared with Washington these days, Simpson does sound as if he's from another galaxy, one in which Democrats and Republicans met regularly in working groups, cosponsored legislation, even ate lunch together. The system he knew is broken, the changes on Capitol Hill 'dramatic.' There's an attitude of 'If Obama's for it, then we're agin' it,' he says, pointing to the recent vote on a bipartisan congressional commission on the deficit that would have required a blueprint for reform after the November elections and a vote before the next session. That bill had 60 supporters, Simpson says, but failed when some of its cosponsors voted against it 'just so they could stick one in Obama's ear.'"
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Why I’m Leaving the Senate
By: Evan Bayh
From: The New York Times
February 20, 2010


Quote: "Challenges of historic import threaten America’s future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. Congress must be reformed.

There are many causes for the dysfunction: strident partisanship, unyielding ideology, a corrosive system of campaign financing, gerrymandering of House districts, endless filibusters, holds on executive appointees in the Senate, dwindling social interaction between senators of opposing parties and a caucus system that promotes party unity at the expense of bipartisan consensus."
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The cost of partisanship on national security
By: Julian E. Zelizer
From: The Washington Post
February 12, 2010


Quote: "Today, we should remember the lessons of Vietnam and the immense costs of the political battles that rocked Cold War America. While it can be healthy to hash out differences over national security policies, politicians must be extremely cautious. The impact of a heated political environment can be extremely damaging and skew policy in dangerous directions."
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As Aisle Gets Wider, Arms Get Shorter
By: Carl Hulse
From: The New York Times
December 27, 2009


Quote: "Keenly aware from recent history that political missteps can cause big swings in the make-up of the House and Senate, members of the party out of power increasingly see little advantage in working with those controlling Congress to help them achieve victories that could come at the minority’s expense."
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Orrin Hatch: Senator Reaches Out to Democrats
By: Joseph Biden
From: U.S. News and World Report
October 22, 2009


Quote: "Party and principle. That bill and others we worked on together passed through Congress with broad, bipartisan support. This was due, in good measure, to Senator Hatch's ability to recognize common goals among his colleagues and his unwillingness to put party ahead of principle. He knew then, as he knows now, that when it comes to protecting the American people, particularly the weakest among us, no lines should be drawn between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. When other Republicans saw that Senator Hatch was on board, they were more inclined to give their support. In many cases, he was able to persuade even some his most conservative colleagues to join him."
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Rahm Emanuel redefines bipartisanship
By: Linda Feldmann
From: The Christian Science Monitor
June 25, 2009


Quote: "'That is a test the president laid out, and he has said it repeatedly: This will be bipartisan. There will be ideas from both parties and individuals from both parties in the final product,' Emanuel said. 'Whether Republicans decide to vote for things that they’ve promoted will be up to them.'"
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Ranking Senate Partisans
By: J. Taylor Rushing
From: The Hill
April 20, 2009


Quote: "Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are the easiest senators to work with, while Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) are the most partisan members of the upper chamber, according to a survey conducted by The Hill."
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The Limits of Obama's Bipartisan Gestures
By: Mark Z. Barabak
From: Los Angeles Times
April 21, 2009


Quote: "For all of Obama's high-flown rhetoric -- the promise of Democratic blue and Republican red bleeding into a peaceable purple -- it was implausible to think Washington would change overnight. After all, it has taken decades for the nation's capital to divide into the functional equivalent of armed camps.

The political center, where many Southern Democrats and Northeastern (or Rockefeller) Republicans once resided, has all but disappeared, leaving fewer lawmakers willing to meet in the middle. One of the handful, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, sees Congress increasingly dominated by members pushing an ideological agenda, not working to solve problems."
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Bipartisan bonding over bagels and schmear
By: J. Taylor Rushing
From: The Hill
April 15, 2009


Quote: "Pryor, a Democrat from Arkansas, and Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, are proposing changes to decades-old meeting habits in an attempt to make the Senate less politically segregated. While stopping short of suggesting new legislation or chamber rules, they are advocating a simpler step: eating together more often."
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Liberals, Conservatives Agree: Buzzwords are Key
By: Josh Richman
From: Oakland Tribune
April 12, 2009


Quote: "This is not a one-administration or a two-term challenge, ... this is a fundamental, sea-change challenge," Rojansky said. But with voters' frustration steadily rising, "there really is a strong incentive to show concrete progress in reaching out to folks on the other side of the aisle, saying 'I am the Dick Lugar of my generation' or 'I am the Sam Nunn of my generation.'"
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A Bipartisan Bill Worth Celebrating
By: David S. Broder
From: The Washington Post
April 5, 2009


Quote: "When Congress comes back from its two-week recess, members of both parties will be invited to the White House to celebrate what is, in today's context, almost a miracle: the signing of the Serve America Act of 2009."
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Obama will need Bipartisan help to achieve his goals
By: David S. Broder
From: The Seattle Times
April 10, 2009


Quote: "The crucial role of the independents will be demonstrated again and again when Congress takes up Obama's challenge to reform health care, immigration and other broken systems, or renew arms control agreements. Because those independents are impressed when measures find prominent supporters in both parties, it will continue to behoove Obama to woo Republican help — no matter how tough the odds."
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Congress Forced to Watch Training Video About Bipartisan Cooperation
From: The Onion
March 23, 2009


Quote: "Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution specifies that the legislative branch must watch the instructional training film "A Vote For Understanding" once every six years. The 30-minute video was made in 1976 and stars former Sen. William Proxmire (D-WI), who guides viewers through a series of short lessons about the importance of listening to the opposition without interrupting, yelling, or filibustering."
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'Post Partisanship' Isn't Dead Yet -- but It's Very Close
By: Mort Kondracke
From: Real Clear Politics
March 19, 2009


Quote: "It's time for Obama to remember all those "post-partisan" campaign promises of his and find ways to listen to Republicans and accommodate some of their ideas. Obama ought to take up an idea that I heard former Sen. David Boren (D-Okla.) put forward the other day: quietly hold some bipartisan skull sessions on selected topics to hash out ideas and create a problem- solving atmosphere."
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Obama May Be Transformational, but Don't Expect an Instant End to Partisanship
By: Marc Dunkelman
From: US News &World Report
March 19, 2009


Quote: "'Change,' in Obama's vision, meant not only moving the White House out of Republican and into Democratic hands. It meant moving from a state of partisan stalemate to post-partisan collaboration."
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Editorial: Obama's Post-Partisanship: Of brows high and low
From: The Philadelphia Inquirer
March 15, 2009


Quote: "Obama left some Democrats speechless when he said he would keep up to 50,000 U.S.troops in Iraq at the end of a 19-month drawdown period. 'This is unacceptable,' said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D., Calif.), cofounder of the Out of Iraq House Caucus. But Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said, 'We are finally on a path to success.'"
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Yes, More Mr. Nice Guy
By: Matt Bai
From: The New York Times


Quote: “Not quite seven weeks into Barack Obama’s presidency, the capital’s leading thinkers seem to agree that the era of postpartisanship is over….According to E. J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post, Obama himself, speaking to a group of columnists aboard Air Force One, suggested that in the future, he would approach Republicans with more wariness. ‘You know, I am an eternal optimist,’ the president said. ‘That doesn’t mean I’m a sap.’”
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Obama Hosts a Bipartisan “Timeout” Dinner at White House
By: Sunlen Miller
From: ABCNews
March 5, 2009


Quote: “‘The country is going though an extraordinarily difficult time, and we are going to have some monumental debates taking place over the next several months and years,’ The President said in the East Room before dinner.”
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Building Bipartisan Habits
By: David Boren
From: The Washington Post
February 24, 2009


Quote: “Partisan agendas have crowded out the national interest, and partisanship has been institutionalized. In Washington today, there are no offsetting forces to promote bipartisanship.”
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Does Bipartisanship Matter?
By: The Editors
From: The New York Times
February 23, 2009


Quote: “Every system is imperfect. Every system has flaws that reduce efficiency and effectiveness. But over time, the American system has proved itself. Civility and consultation are always welcome, and smart leaders use these courtesies to accomplish their goals. But two parties were not elected to govern in 2008, and it really is that simple.”
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Partisanship, by the Bye
By: Hendrik Hertzberg
From: The New Yorker
February 23, 2009


Quote: “The Los Angeles Times, while calling the bill’s quick passage in the House of Representatives a ‘big legislative victory’ for Obama, cautioned that ‘it was clear that his efforts so far had not delivered the post-partisan era that he called for in his inauguration address.’ (The man had been in office for eight days—a tight schedule for era-delivering.) On the Senate floor, the remarks of Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, provided evidence that an age of perpetual political peace had not yet dawned. ‘This bill stinks!’ Senator Graham exclaimed.”
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Don't Dump Worthy Goal of Bipartisan Discourse
From: Charlotte Observer
February 22, 2009


Quote: “When President Obama's stimulus package finally passed Congress, no Republicans in the U.S. House and only three in the Senate voted for the final bill. So much for bipartisanship.”
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CNN Analyst: Crisis Calls for Bipartisanship
By: Russ Wiles
From: The Arizona Republic
February 21, 2009


Quote: “ ‘I don't think bipartisanship is dead,’ said David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN. ‘I'm still hopeful there will be times when the two parties can come together.’ "
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Poll: Most Favor Bipartisanship; Democrats, not so much
By: Paul Steinhauser
From: CNN.com
February 20, 2009


Quote: “But the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Survey, released Friday, suggests that Democratic respondents aren't so enthusiastic about bipartisanship.”
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Betting on Bipartisanship
By: David S. Broder
From: The Washington Post
February 19, 2009


Quote: “As far as most of Washington is concerned, Barack Obama's big talk about bipartisanship is kaput.”
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Obama Riding the Wave
By: Bob Herbert
From: The New York Times
February 16, 2009


Quote: “Listening to President Obama, I was struck by how well he understands that most voters are not driven by ideology and are not searching for politically orthodox leadership. Most want leaders who speak to their needs--especially in this time of economic crisis--and a government that works.”
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Change vs. Bipartisan: What Happens When You Throw a Bipartisan Party and Half the Guest List Stays Home?
By: Drew Westen
From: The Huffington Post
February 9, 2009


Quote: “But a failure to distinguish alternative meanings of bipartisanship, an apparent miscalculation about the political and ideological extremism of the Republicans left in Washington in the wake of the Democratic landslides of the last two electoral cycles, and the unwillingness to fight back when attacked led the Obama administration unwittingly to participate in a setback to both change and bipartisanship, as they urged Democrastic lawmakers to cut and paste elements of the conservative ideology that has unhunged our economy into a package designed to resuscitate it and emboldened the Republican leadership in a way that has sown the seeds of renewed partisan polarization.”
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Bipartisan Push Haunts Obama’s Push for Policy
By: Naftali Bendarid
From: The Wall Street Journal
February 8, 2009


Quote: “The partisan divide marking the economic-stimulus debate in Congress shows the difficulties facing Barack Obama's grand vision of bipartisan governing, and suggests that he is destined to battle for his programs the old-fashioned way -- hoping to win near-unanimous votes from his own party and just enough from the opposition to squeak through . . .”
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Obama Woos the GOP With Attention, and Cookies
By: Jeff Zeleny
From: The New York Times
February 4, 2009


Quote: “Since the inauguration, one of the hottest tickets in town has been an invitation to the White House. And Republicans have been scoring them nearly as often as Democrats.”
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These Days In Washington, It Takes More Than Two to Tango…
By: Lanny Davis
From: Fox News
February 2, 2009


Quote: “In his first week as president, Mr. Obama has proven he is serious about keeping his promise. But in today’s Washington, it really takes more than two to do the tango. In fact, it actually will take at least five to make true bipartisanship work.”
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Bipartisanship Without Substance is Meaningless
By: Phillip Zelikow
From: Foreign Policy
February 2, 2009


Quote: “But bipartisanship is about substance, not just form. You have to step up to the substance. This is what FDR did when he brought the opposition party's Secretary of State (Stimson) and the opposition party's VP candidate (Knox) into the very heart of his cabinet and formed a national unity government in June 1940.”
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As Obama Talks of Bipartisanship, Definitions Vary
By: Alec MacGillis and Paul Kane
From: Washington Post
February 2, 2008


Quote: “The uncertainty over just how the new president defines bipartisanship traces back to the campaign trail…”
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John McCain Could be the Next Wendell Willkie
By: Robert Sommer
From: NJ.com
February 1, 2009


Quote: “Obama, and McCain for that matter, should examine the relationship that developed between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie after their heated contest for the presidency in 1940.”
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Democrats, Republicans Clash Over Meaning of Bipartisanship
By: Jared Allen
From: The Hill
January 27, 2009


Quote: "Bipartisanship should mean more than having the opportunity to vote on Democrat bills," House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said on CNN on Sunday.

But Democrats have a different definition of bipartisanship.

"Being bipartisan does not mean having to lie down and say, ‘We’ll do whatever you want,’ House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday. “Being bipartisan is saying, ‘We’ll talk, we’ll figure it out, if we can agree, we’ll agree.’ ”
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Bipartisan Relations: Collaboration or Collision?
By: Alan K. Ota
From: CQ Weekly
January 25, 2009


Quote: “The ‘Kroger calls’ may have been the beginning of what could become either the most productive bipartisan relationship in the capital this year or the most destructive.”
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Obama-Biden Foreign Policy Agenda, January 2009
From: White House
Posted By: Council on Foreign Relations
January 21, 2009


Note: There is a whole section from the document entitled: “Bipartisanship and Openness.”
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