We are ready to pick our next set of issues for which we’ll develop full policy briefs.
It’s an exciting time to do this. The first time we picked our issues, we had 4,000 members. Now, over 25,000 Americans from across the nation and political spectrum have joined our work to bring common sense to Washington. We have also now established an excellent reputation in Congress. In December, Congress passed legislation ending surprise medical billing with support from thousands of CommonSense Americans that made a meaningful difference.
On March 25, 2021, Keith Allred, our executive director, testified for a second time before Congress on how we identify and champion solutions wise enough to attract broad, bipartisan support. The Select Committee on Modernization of the Congress was particularly interested in our brief on Congressional Reform, which our members are weighing in on right now. Our work to identify bipartisan solutions is especially relevant in a Senate evenly divided with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans and one of the most closely divided Houses in history.
Picking our issues to brief is the first of our four steps in identifying and championing solutions wise enough to attract broad, bipartisan support. Once we’ve picked our three issues, we’ll take the second step of developing full policy briefs. The staff will be working hard in the coming months to make the strongest case for each competing perspective on each topic. For each brief, we’ll be consulting leading voices from the left, right, and center to be sure we’ve captured their perspective fully and fairly. And we’ll be researching the most relevant facts and evidence.
Then, we’ll take the third step. Each of you will be assigned to one of the three briefs. You’ll have at least a month to spend the 90 minutes you committed to reviewing your brief and weighing in. You’ll be asked whether you support or oppose each specific proposal in the brief.
In our fourth and final step, we’ll engage Congress with the results for each issue. Each of us who worked on a given issue will contact our Representative and Senators to share our own individual views. Our staff will also conduct congressional briefings with the results. On surprise medical billing, for example, we conducted more than 150 congressional briefings. It was faith restoring to see how enthusiastically Members of Congress responded to our work. Hearing disproportionately from the extremes and special interests, most are grateful to hear the views of a large, informed, bipartisan group of Americans interested in commonsense solutions.