For Country Caucus

Washington Post: Veterans can restore trust in Congress. That’s why we created a new caucus.

March 19, 2019
Just a few decades ago, veterans made up more than 70 percent of Congress. An ingrained commitment to public service brought these Democrats and Republicans together to put country over party. These members’ primary obligation was to patriotic service, not partisan politics. Now, veteran representation in Congress is near a historic low of 18 percent. Congress, often paralyzed by debilitating bickering and gridlock, is consistently rated as one of the least trusted institutions in the United States. These trends are not a coincidence.

Last year’s midterm elections sent a surge of veterans to Congress, including the largest number of freshman-class veterans in more than a decade. These military-connected congressmen and -women present an opportunity to strengthen trust in Congress and help the institution to function again.

As we seek to break through the political dysfunction, we are pleased to announce the launch of the For Country Caucus. The caucus will provide principled military veteran members a platform to work in a nonpartisan way and create a more productive government. For Country’s vision is a less polarized Congress that works for — and is trusted by — Americans. We seek a Congress where members serve with integrity, civility and courage. And we want a Congress that is strategic in purpose, focused in action and where elected officials put their country first.

All four of us have served in the U.S. military. We served in the Navy and Air Force, and one of us continues to serve in the Army National Guard. While in uniform, we took an oath to serve our country. Now in Congress, we continue that service. Service members and veterans know how to work together to solve tough problems. In the military, the goal is to effectively execute the mission at hand. Regardless of background, experience or ideology, our actions were in service to and for country. We are committed to continuing that ethos in Congress through the For Country Caucus.

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