Rep. Murphy promotes bipartisanship in Illinois

Chris Murphy

U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-5) was in Illinois this weekend at a town hall meeting, promoting an effort for Democrats and Republicans to come together to fix the economy.

“In Washington, nothing can get done without the two parties working together,” said Murphy, according to the Champaign/Urbana The Daily-Gazette. “This economy, with the misery that comes with it, affects everybody, whether you are registered as a Republican or registered as a Democrat.”

According to the Daily-Gazette article, Murphy joined Republican colleague Tim Johnson at the I Hotel in Champaign, speaking in front of about 100 people Sunday afternoon.

Murphy, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2012, and Johnson, who represents Illinois’ 15th district, are members of the Center Aisle Caucus, a group working to bring the two political sides together.

“Washington would work together better if the two parties just talked to each other. Tim and I are trying to set an example for our colleagues,” Murphy said, according to the Daily-Gazette. “We need to think creatively about how to break the culture of dysfunction in Washington. If you are serious about Washington, you have to be serious about reaching out across the aisle.”

Johnson was a founder of the caucus, and Murphy is one of its leaders.

“More than ever, there is a tremendous belief that government at all levels is out of control,” Johnson told the Daily-Gazette. “The dysfunctionality, the anger, the bickering and the unwillingness to work together have reached monumental proportions, and we need to do something about it.”

Murphy told the Associated Press that he thinks some Democrats are hesitant to join the movement, because they don’t want to be accused of being centrists.

Tom Cleary