Nashville Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper cut to the chase in an interview for NPR’s Tell Me More this week, telling host Michel Martin “Most people are actually pretty decent as individuals. The problem with Congress is when we get together we behave terribly.”
Cooper appeared alongside Republican Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin. The two are members of a three year-old organization called No Labels, whose mission is to promote bipartisan collaboration. Both men said they had productive communication with each other throughout the shutdown and debt ceiling debate.
Cooper called the shutdown “embarrassing for everybody” and blamed “extremes in both parties” for the impasse. He mocked a group of Republicans who call themselves ‘the suicide caucus’ saying “that doesn’t sound very friendly, does it?”, but conceded that “on the left there were folks that didn’t want to give an inch either.”
No Label’s website says it was born in response to the “poison in the air” when the Affordable Care Act was passed without a single Republican vote.