TRUST IN GOVERNMENT: Latest Ripon Forum looks at why it’s important, and what Republicans can do to restore it in 2015

RF - December 2014 -- draft cover with borderWith essays by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Charlie Dent, Shelley Moore Capito, and Bill Flores

WASHINGTON, DC — With Republicans set to take control of Congress in January, the latest edition of THE RIPON FORUM looks at what may be one of the most daunting challenges they will confront — namely, the fact that the American people have lost faith in Washington and the ability of their elected leaders to get things done.

The FORUM looks at this challenge with a series of essays by four leading Republicans on Capitol Hill, who not only discuss why trust in government is important, but share their thoughts on what their party can do to restore it in 2015. The leaders include:

  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who Chairs the House Republican Conference – “I can say with certainty that trust is fundamental to effective lawmaking,” she writes.  “At a time when Americans’ trust in government has hit an all-time low – with just 28 percent in the legislative branch and 43 percent in the executive – it’s time to change the culture in Washington.”
  • Charlie Dent, who Co-Chairs the House Tuesday Group – “If we end 2014 and begin 2015 threatening to shut the government down,” Dent writes, “if we give voters the sense that we’re ready to take the process hostage, we will suffer the same fate the Democrats just did.  We need to regain trust. We need to show that we are a party more interested in building than in tearing down.”
  • Bill Flores, who Chairs the Republican Study Committee – “The federal budget is a mess,” he writes.  “Unelected, unaccountable Washington bureaucrats have inserted themselves into far too many aspects of American businesses, educational institutions, and our homes… These conditions are unacceptable and it is time that elected officials in Washington work to renew Americans’ trust in their government.”
  • Shelley Moore Capito, who has represented West Virginia’s 2nd District since 2001 and was just elected as the first woman Senator from the state – “It’s no secret that the approval ratings of Congress are abysmal,” she writes, “but we can restore the trust and confidence of the American people by coming together to find common ground.  In the most recent Congress, there were glimpses of bipartisanship that we can build on in the years to come.”

The latest edition of the FORUM also features an interview with Pew Research President Michael Dimock, who discusses the low level of trust in government and how it compares to previous years, and a pair of essays by veteran strategist John Feehery and Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet, who examine and propose ways in which Members of Congress can end the era of dysfunction on Capitol Hill.  If gridlock is to end next year, then Maine Senator Susan Collins has some specific ideas about the areas where agreement can be reached and where consensus exists.

With immigration continuing to be in the news these days, the latest FORUM also features an essay by Governor Rick Snyder about the effort he is leading to address the issue in the State of Michigan.  George Washington University Professor Lara Brown looks at the 2016 race for the White House and lessons learned from past presidential campaigns.  And in the latest Ripon Profile, newly-elected Utah Representative Mia Love discusses why she ran for Congress in the first place, and what she hopes to accomplish in the coming year.

The latest edition of THE RIPON FORUM also includes a tribute to the late Bill Frenzel, who served as Chairman of the FORUM’s Editorial Board and who passed away on November 17th.  “It’s fitting that the last edition of the FORUM with his name on the masthead is devoted to trust in government,” states the journal’s Editor, Lou Zickar, “for if there was ever a leader who embodied the qualities that inspire trust among the American people, it was Bill.”

THE RIPON FORUM is published by The Ripon Society, a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.