Rep. Lipinski Recognized for Bipartisan Leadership

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) was recognized today for his bipartisan leadership in the U.S. House in a new ranking of lawmakers.  Lipinski was ranked 16th out of 422 members in a Bipartisan Index released by The Lugar Center, a policy organization headed by former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

The index ranks all Senators and Congressmen based on their sponsorship and co-sponsorship of legislation during the 2013-14 session of Congress.  Members were scored based on how often bills they introduced were co-sponsored by members of the other party, and how often they joined bills sponsored from across the aisle.  Only 36 Senators and 144 House members received positive bipartisan scores in the index.

“My background is in engineering, and engineers solve problems,” Rep. Lipinski said.  “I have always made it a priority to work with all sides on legislation that helps create jobs, improves the lives of middle-class Americans, and makes America an even stronger nation.  My job is not just to complain and blame, but to propose and work for solutions to problems that my constituents and our country face.  At this critical time, it is more important than ever to reach across the aisle and build consensus.  I will continue working with my colleagues across the political spectrum for the American people.”

“Excessive partisanship has created gridlock and hurt Congress’ image and its ability to govern,” said former Sen. Lugar, who served 36 years in Congress and was known for his bipartisan approach to lawmaking.  “In the 113th Congress, Congressman Lipinski demonstrated his ability to reach across the aisle and seek agreements with the other party for the good of the country.”

The Bipartisan Index released today compares the performance of current members to baseline scores derived from 20 years of historical data.  The index scores only bills that have the force of law, not commemorative bills or non-binding resolutions.

Senator Lugar said he hopes the index will shine a light on an important but little-noticed part of lawmakers’ duties — bill sponsorship — and encourage them to reach across the aisle when legislation is being introduced.  It is far easier at that point to reach responsible compromises, rather than at the end of the legislative process when positions have hardened.