Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson has joined a growing list of Republicans and Democrats in the No Labels Congressional Problem Solvers Coalition. Former Utah Governor John Huntsman Junior is co-chair of No Labels. Matheson says joining this group is a way to approach the challenge of the polarized dynamics of politics right now in Washington.
“There are 81 of us now. We meet every week Congress is in session,” says Matheson. He says, “It’s the only meeting I know of meeting that takes place every in DC where Republicans and Democrats sit down every week and talk policy.”
Matheson says this move should come as no surprise to constituents as well Washington insiders. He has no concerns at this point about how his involvement in No Labels might affect his re-election bid.
“I’m still real proud of what the American political system represents and I want to make it work better and so this has always been my point of view and I think that’s why I’m one of the leaders of the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus is because this just fits so well with who I am and the politics I’ve always practiced,” says Matheson.
Quinn Monson is the Director of the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University. He says Matheson has never been one to hold onto labels.
“He doesn’t use the party label Democrat very often and has tried to present himself as a moderate to conservative politician all the time and so, you know a little bit depends on how this group evolves and how it’s perceived,” says Monson.
He says it’s too early to be critical of the group for not getting any actual bill going. The coalition did announce today a legislative reform package of nine bills called “Make Government Work.” Matheson says the package is designed to make government more efficient, effective and less wasteful.