- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Thursday there is more bipartisanship in the Senate than Americans may think, but argued it doesn’t get covered in the media because it doesn’t “generate a lot of drama.”

“Let’s take a look at what the Senate has gotten done. We repealed No Child Left Behind in a bipartisan vote, we were able to amend the Toxic Substance Control Act, which hadn’t been amended since 1970. And so there are things that actually happen in a bipartisan way, [but] because they happen in bipartisan way, they don’t generate a lot of drama. They don’t generate a lot of controversy and they go along unnoticed,” Ms. Heitkamp, North Dakota Democrat, said on CNN.

On the extreme partisanship seen in the health care debate, Ms. Heitkamp argues the Senate “got off on the wrong foot” and said the process did not encourage parties to reach across the political aisle. She said there are areas that both sides agree need fixing, like stabilizing the individual markets, which she said there have been bipartisan discussions about.

“The heath care bill got off on wrong foot because the problem that they were trying to fix was a political problem, a historic, political problem. I have seen nothing but broad reach across the aisle about what are we going to do to stabilize the markets, and then let’s have a conversation about health care and what we’re going to do to deliver a high quality health care product that will lower cost,” Ms. Heitkamp said.

She said moving forward, Republicans need to focus on fixing problems in a bipartisan way rather than continued rhetoric.

“I think right now there is an interest and a concern, given the reaction of Americans, to what happened in all of this. Let’s work at fixing [the] problems. It’s not about rhetoric anymore. It’s about health care, and I think there is broad bipartisan support to do that,” the senator said.

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