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Jan 23, 2021 | In The News, Small Business

Bipartisan blocs in both chambers of Congress are set to wield outsized influence in the coming session, with both groups gaining members and possibly a friend in the White House  as Democrats hold slim majorities in the House and Senate.

The bipartisan Senate group that introduced the $900 billion coronavirus aid package that became law in December, initially called the 908 Coalition, will re-form with new members and a new name, a Democratic Senate aide told Forbes, confirming a Washington Post report. The group, led by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), has swelled to16 members, adding Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). The group has not yet chosen a name, but the working title is The Common Sense Coalition, two sources familiar with the groups planning told Forbes.

The House Problem Solvers Caucus, which collaborated with the 908 Coalition on the relief bill, announced Monday that it added 16 new members for a total of 28 Democrats and 28 Republicans. The new members include a number of freshmen from swing districts, such as Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Tony Gonzalez (R-Tex.) 

The Problem Solvers Caucus includes several House members who, along with the majority of the House GOP caucus, voted to reject Biden’s electors in an attempt to overturn the election: Reps. Michael Bost (R-Ill.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Daniel Meuser (R-Pa.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.). Also joining the group this session is Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), who voted for the objections but later voted to impeach Trump over his response to the Capitol attack.

As the President said yesterday, we must put country first, find ways to bind our wounds, and unite to tackle our toughest challenges from the virus to the economy, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a co-chair of the group and an ally of the Biden administration, said in a statement. Biden has repeatedly signaled his intent to work across the aisle and try to drum up bipartisan support for his legislation, as he often did when he was a senator.


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