Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI 8th District) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th District) are clear about one thing: they don’t agree on much.
Aside from being first term congressmen and among the youngest members of the body (Gallagher is 33 and Khanna is 40), there are few similarities. Beyond party, Gallagher is a former Marine from dairy-country. Khanna taught economics in the Silicon Valley. Yet, they both are coming together to promote systematic reform.
The two recently elected leaders wrote an op-ed calling for a shared reform agenda. In it, they write:
“Whether in Cupertino or Green Bay, we have heard loud and clear that our constituents want a fairer system of government, less money in politics, more bipartisanship and fewer lobbyists in Washington. Each of us have core values on which we will never compromise, and our voting records reflect that. However, 83% of Americans believe that Congress should find common ground on issues in order to get things done.”
That’s speaking our language! In addition to laying out a clear case, they also inspire hope- saying the freshman class in Congress is more receptive to reform that others.
Among the reforms Gallagher and Khanna articulate are:
- Non-partisan redistricting
- Term limits (12 years) for House and Senate
- A five year ban on lobbying after public service
While these are tangential efforts to Take Back’s, it is nonetheless encouraging to see that reform issues are being discussed across the aisle under the “Drain the Swamp” banner. Moreover, Gallagher and Khanna cite money in politics as a source of the problem and these proposals flow out of that.
Our organization is named Take Back Our Republic with the clear implication that the republic currently isn’t “ours.” That’s discouraging, and poll after poll shows that word describes the feeling of most Americans toward the political system. That said, there is hope to be found in how these two close their article:
“Draining the swamp is not enough. Unless you structurally change how the swamp is fed, it will fill right back up. So let’s start on that structural reform and lay a pathway for tomorrow’s leaders to unite the country and confront the problems of the 21st century in the only manner we have a chance at solving them: together.”