Beatty & Carey Promote Civility in the House

“Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, I think people like to see that we get along.”

WASHINGTON, DC – At a time when political scandals are dominating the headlines and partisan attacks are leading the news, The Ripon Society and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange held a breakfast discussion yesterday morning with two Members of Congress who are leading an effort to restore a sense of civility and decency to the debate.

The Members are Joyce Beatty and Mike Carey.  Beatty is a fifth-term Democrat who represents the 3rd District of Ohio in the U.S. House.  Carey is a Republican who represents the neighboring 15th District of the Buckeye State and was elected to the House in a special election in 2021.  Both serve as Co-Chairs of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus, a bipartisan group of nearly four dozen lawmakers which was officially launched on Capitol Hill last month.

Beatty kicked off the discussion by talking about her friendship with Carey and the reason they are leading this effort.

“We have a lot in common,” the Democratic Congresswoman began.  “But we also have a lot of differences.  I think the best thing that we decided early on was that we could disagree without being disagreeable.  But we have a secret weapon — we actually like each other, and that makes a huge difference.  We have a friendship beyond the House floor.

“We’ve also figured out how to have a friendship on the House floor – which, unfortunately in today’s times, might seem kind of rare.  But we have decided to go with it and to be very visible with it, and that’s why we decided to be Chairs of the Civility and Respect Caucus.”

Beatty noted that she originally formed the Civility Caucus in 2018 with Carey’s predecessor in the U.S. House, former Congressman Steve Stivers.  After Stivers retired from Congress and Carey was elected to replace him, Beatty asked him to step into the Caucus Co-Chair role.  It was a request, Carey noted, based on the fact that they are not only longtime friends, but also neighbors.

“Joyce and I literally live one mile apart,” Carey noted.  “I can walk out of my house and on a clear day, I can see where Joyce lives. We shop at the same grocery store.  When she walks out of her District office and walks across the street, she’s in my District. When I walk out of my District office and I walk across the street, I’m in Joyce’s District.  We split the city of Columbus essentially in half.  So [co-chairing the Civility Caucus] really makes sense, and we do get along.”

It is a relationship, he added, that forms the foundation of the Civility Caucus, and one that in turn has helped them connect with people who are fed up with partisan politics back home.

“I think this is the fourth time we’ve done this back and forth,” Carey said.  “We were with one of the healthcare agencies in Columbus. We appeared before the realtors. We also spoke to the Columbus Business Partnership.  Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, I think people like to see that we get along … And when you look at the people who are going to be joining up with us, I think you’re going to see that same mentality.”

Beatty echoed Carey’s remarks.  She also revealed one condition of joining the Civility Caucus — if someone joins Caucus as a Democrat or a Republican, they must join with a partner from the other party, as well.

“We now have 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans,” she said.  “And we just started on April 14th, so that’s a pretty good number.”

To view the remarks of Beatty and Carey before The Ripon Society and Franklin Center yesterday morning, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is 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.

Founded in 1978, The Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to enhancing global understanding of important international issues. The Franklin Center brings together Members of the U.S. Congress and their international parliamentary counterparts as well as experts from the Diplomatic corps, foreign officials, senior private sector representatives, scholars, and other public policy experts. Through regular conferences and events where leading international opinion leaders share ideas, the Franklin Center promotes enlightened, balanced, and unbiased international policy discussion on major international issues.