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My Thoughts on How Lawmakers Can Break the Partisan Divide
Please do not reply to this e-mail, as I am unable to respond to messages sent to this address. You can contact me directly at vgaydos@pahousegop.com or here.
As Republicans and Democrats continue to battle over control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I am urging all elected leaders to remain focused on finding common ground so the House can get to work on building a bright future for the constituents who entrusted us to be their voice in Harrisburg.

House Speaker Mike Rozzi (D-Berks), who canceled special session days earlier this month due to disputes between Democrat and Republican leaders, said that his top priority as an independent speaker is to “find a way to move forward as Pennsylvanians for the betterment of Pennsylvania.”

It is time to stop bickering about the past, but rather address specific ways for the House to get back to work. I was recently appointed by the Republican-nominated Democrat Speaker to join five of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to create the “Speaker’s Workgroup to Move Pennsylvania Forward.”

Joining me from the Republican Caucus are Reps. Jason Ortitay (R-Allegheny/Washington) and Paul Schemel (R-Franklin). The Democrat Caucus members consist of Reps. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh) and Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery).

The bipartisan work group has met several times and is off to a good start. Our discussions have centered on crafting an agreeable set of operating rules for both special and regular session and to find solutions on how to best bridge the partisan divide.”

I am pleased to report that the work group has coalesced around a first draft of proposed operating rules for a special session. The report was presented to Rozzi for consideration yesterday. The next step will be for the work group to review the draft and meet to discuss any revisions, additions or clarifications before presenting it to both leaders and their caucuses, who will ultimately be the ones who will accept or reject the work group’s proposal.

I am confident that we can move forward to start healing the partisan divide and building a better tomorrow. We need to get back to work and strive to remove as many obstacles as possible.

As the work group, as well as party leaders, continue their own discussions on House operations, Rozzi announced a Commonwealth statewide listening tour to hear directly from citizens on how the House could better operate to heal the partisan divide, and how to better work toward common goals.

If the proposed special session rules can be agreed upon by the speaker as well as both Democrat and Republican leaders and each caucus, I anticipate us getting back to work soon to begin working on the general session rules, including input from the listening session.

The locations, times and dates of the tour are as follows:

  •   Carnegie Mellon University, Simmons Auditorium, 5032 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Jan. 25, beginning at 6 p.m.
  •   St. Joseph’s University, 5600 City Ave., Philadelphia, Fri. Jan 27, beginning at 6 p.m.

Last week, Rozzi addressed the citizens of Pennsylvania about his commitment to all Pennsylvanians. Click here to watch.

Valerie Gaydos
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1005 Beaver Grade Road, Suite 106, Moon Township, PA 15108 | Phone: (412) 262-3780, Fax: (412) 262-3783
Capitol Office:
Room 428, Irvis Office Building, House Box 202044, Harrisburg PA 17120-2044 | Phone: (717) 787-6651 |
Email: vgaydos@pahousegop.com