Governors deplore ‘existential threat’ of bias in Washington

State governors who gathered in Washington, DC over the weekend sounded the alarm over the partisan divide in Congress and the collapse of personal relationships that once lubricated the wheels of cooperation.

“This toxicity, this division and struggle over things that really do not matter in the big picture is an existential threat, not only to our country, but to the world,” said Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R), who was among those heads of state who attended the four-day National Governors Association meeting.

Cox ran as governor against Democrat Chris Peterson in 2020, when the two released one joint promotional ad promises to respect the election result, ensure a peaceful transfer of power and practice political courtesy.

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonHutchinson warns other GOP governors: Talking about election 2020, a losing strategy Murphy says it’s time for New Jersey to ‘learn how to live’ with COVID-19 preview of Sunday shows: Justice Breyer announces retirement from Supreme Court MORE (R), who has warned his party against resuming elections in 2020 ahead of the forthcoming elections, recalled his time as a member of the House of Representatives from 1997 to 2001.

He cited bipartisan withdrawals and more frequent congressional delegations as the key to keeping Congress cooperating. “It’s not happening anymore,” Hutchinson said.

Carlyle Group co-founder and co-CEO David Rubenstein, who moderated Sunday’s discussion with Hutchinson and the New Jersey Gov. Phil MurphyPhil MurphyNew Jersey gym owner who defied COVID closures running to US House seat Murphy says it’s time for New Jersey to ‘learn how to live’ with the COVID-19 Sunday show preview: Justice Breyer announces retirement from the Supreme Court MORE (D), suggested that one reason for this shift could be pressure on members of Congress to raise money for the next election, pulling them away from Capitol Hill.

“It’s also the limited time they spend in the social network,” Hutchinson said of interpersonal relationships with other lawmakers. “Now it’s three days and you’re back in your district. And then you’re isolated from everyone else.”

Hutchinson also said social media was partly to blame, saying it had “taken humanity out of relationships” while its use in politics “runs counter to a bipartisan structure or even a humane structure.”

Murphy said that despite being a proud Democrat, “it is not as if you have to give up your principles to find common ground.”

Murphy called the two-part infrastructure law passed by Congress a model for cross-hall cooperation and praised President BidenJoe Biden Congress is in danger of lack of closure deadline Senate will get Ukraine, Russia to briefing on Thursday As Social Security field offices reopen, it’s time to expand and revitalize them MORE‘s efforts to bring Democrats and Republicans together.

“This is not a flamethrower, is it?” Murphy said about Biden. “This is a guy trying to find – he’s been in Washington for 40 odd years. He’s in this business for the right reasons. “

In May, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Congress in danger of failure to close. Biden’s ‘New Political Order’ Cotton says he will keep an ‘open mind’ about Biden’s Supreme Court candidate, but doubts the GOP will support them MORE (R-Ky.) Said, “One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration.”

Biden, who was vice president when Republicans repeatedly blocked President ObamaBarack Hussein Obama What does it mean to have a Supreme Court that ‘looks like America’? Cotton says he will keep an ‘open mind’ to Biden’s Supreme Court candidate, but doubts the GOP will support them. Can we sue our path to climate action? MOREs agenda, said he has been surprised by GOP opposition to his administration.

“One thing I have not been able to do so far is to get my Republican friends to join the game of making things better in this country,” Biden said at a January 19 press conference.

“I had not foreseen that there would be such a faithful effort to ensure that the most important thing was that President Biden did not get anything done.”

Public polls show that much of the United States agrees with governors’ concerns about what a lack of bipartisanship in Congress means for the country.

ONE poll conducted earlier this month of NPR-Ipsos found that most Americans believe “that American democracy is in crisis and at risk of failure”, while a Bipartisan Policy Center-Morning Consult poll found that two-thirds of respondents wanted Congress to work across party lines to pass legislation and address major issues.

Another poll from Public Agenda and USA Today in September found that most Americans feel bias has had a negative effect on government functions such as conducting elections and dealing with the pandemic, although most respondents were pessimistic that the gap could be bridged.

“I just feel and I think there is a lot of evidence that there is a very large part of our country that is desperate for us to find common ground,” Murphy said Sunday.

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