Our U.S. House of Representatives has a group of 22 Republicans and 22 Democrats that have joined forces to form a 44-member caucus called The Problem Solvers Caucus. These courageous representatives have pledged to work together on many levels but have targeted goals on which they have agreed to focus. They acknowledge that there are more issues that unite us as Americans than issues that divide us by party affiliation. They created this group to foster cooperation and get behind ideas that appeal to a broad spectrum of “We the People,” the American public. They are working together on common sense solutions to some of our toughest challenges. This bipartisan group needs more members of Congress to commit to this idea of unity for our country, as it practices government as our founders intended, where representatives listen to each other and work through disagreement civilly.

Almost 90 percent of Americans would like their elected representatives to reach across the aisle and reach collaborative solutions. Our democracy is based on the idea that people of different visions can come together to blend a shared vision for the country and as a whole move this nation forward. The Problem Solvers Caucus “believes that being principled and pragmatic are not mutually exclusive ideas” and understands that trying to create policy from extremes is making governing of this country practically impossible.

Currently these members of Congress are actively working on passing a tax reform bill. They are building a coalition to pass an infrastructure bill. And since Congress as a whole has not been able to successfully address the issues we face with our health care system, the Problem Solvers are also focusing on ways to help fix what isn’t working in that system. These goals are indeed lofty, but to achieve any of them first takes a group of dedicated lawmakers to commit to working on them. They know they need put their heads together and work through our problems in order to create solutions that can become a reality. No goal was ever achieved without first visualizing the possibility of its existence.
I applaud these members of Congress for their courage to stand up for America. I applaud their desire to form a new kind of Congress — one that is capable of doing the people’s business. They are putting the people before party and doing their work. What a breath of fresh air to know that these House members, 22 on each side of the aisle, have formed a pact to support one another toward solving at least these strategic goals. Reasonable adults, bringing their differences to the table to solve the issues we face.

Our current representative, Hon. Ken Buck of the 4th Congressional District, is not part of the Problem Solvers Caucus. On the contrary, Buck prides himself in being a member of the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives. The Freedom Caucus has only Republican members and membership is by invitation only. Their meetings are not open or accessible to any other members of the House, even other Republicans. If you are a moderate Republican you will not be invited to this caucus. If you are a collaborator that would like to work together with those that have differing views than your own to create policies that move America forward, then you will not be welcome in this group. This is the group that our current representative of the 4th District is proud of.

Mr. Buck is not interested in solving problems. He is not really interested in listening to his constituents. We have the opportunity to create new jobs in Colorado by working to develop renewable energy sources. We can work to bring reliable internet infrastructure to our public schools and homes on the eastern plains. We can ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans that have obtained health care over the past four years have that coverage protected. Our agricultural communities need trade agreements that promote the hard work that goes into all that is produced by our farmers and ranchers. Our immigration reform needs to allow for the thousands of farm workers that keep those agricultural businesses running smoothly.

I encourage the people of Colorado’s 4th District to hold our representative accountable. He was elected to represent all of us in this district. He was elected to get things done. He was elected to be a leader in Congress and to bring more Colorado values to Washington, D.C. He was elected to be a problem solver. Why isn’t he?

Karen McCormick, DVM, is a 23-year resident of Longmont and a 2018 candidate in the 4th Congressionsl District.