Seventeen House GOP Freshmen Offer To Work With Biden: ‘Partisan Divide’ Doesn’t ‘Serve A Single American’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: Members of congress sit in the chamber during a joint session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol where all the Electoral College votes from the States will be delivered and verified on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Seventeen House Republicans, all of whom did not serve in the previous Congress, wrote a letter to President Joe Biden this week to express hope toward working together on behalf of all Americans despite any ideological differences between them.

“After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation’s capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American,” wrote the Republicans. 

The group of House freshmen included ten Republicans who voted in favor of objecting to the electoral college results from at least one state, including Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), the youngest House member, and Congressman Burgess Owens (R-UT). The group also included two members of Congress who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump: Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA), who recently reclaimed a seat he held for several years beginning in 2013. 

“The constituencies we represent showcase the variety of thought across our great nation. From Texas to California and from Oklahoma to New York, Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock and simply want to see leaders from both sides of the aisle work on issues important to American families, workers and businesses,” they wrote. 

“We hope to work with you to extend targeted, meaningful coronavirus relief for families and businesses, protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, strengthen and modernize our infrastructure, enforce our antitrust laws against emboldened technology monopolies, and restore our economy struggling in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic,” continued the House GOP freshmen. 

The House Republicans concluded: “We firmly believe that what unites us as Americans is far greater than anything that may divide us. In that spirit, we hope that we can rise above the partisan fray to negotiate meaningful change for Americans across the nation and maintain the United States’ standing as the best country in the world.”

The others who signed were Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Congressman Scott Franklin (R-FL), Congressman Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-NM), Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Congressman Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL), Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL), Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Congresswoman Young Kim (R-CA), Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks (R-IA). Furthermore, nine of the letter’s seventeen signatories won their elections by flipping Democratic-controlled seats. 

Biden has spent his first days in office signing a flurry of executive orders and taking executive actions designed to combat what his administration has called the four crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout, climate change and racial equity. 

Biden also wants Congress to act on a $1.9 trillion relief package, which would include $350 billion for local and state governments. Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) says the proposal is unlikely to pass the senate, particularly due to the price tag. 

“I don’t think it can get 60. Because even the people on our side that would be inclined to want to work with the administration on something like that, that price range is going to be out of range for them,” Thune told Politico. “Absent some change and economic conditions, etc., I think that would be a very heavy lift.”

Update note: This article has been altered to reflect that the letter said “partisan” divide, not “Republican” divide.

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