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Rep. Rosen On Trying To Solve Problems In A Divided Congress

Charles Dharapak/AP

Jissela Centeno and son, Matthew Pineda, hold an American flag at a rally for immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in 2013.

Jacky Rosen is trying to get things done in Congress. She’s part of the Problem Solvers Caucus – a bipartisan group that is trying to find solutions to issues like tax reform, infrastructure and healthcare.

But how can this caucus get traction when President Donald Trump comes out with something new and surprising seemingly every day?

"Honestly, there are some things that do get done," she said, "Because what everyone puts on the radio or on their different news channels are some of the hot-button issues but there are things that we're doing all the time."

One of the issues that is back in the headlines is gun safety and gun laws after the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 1. 

Rosen said there is bi-partisan support for a new bill that would ban the sale of bump stocks, which is what the shooter in the Route 91 shooting used to make a semi-automatic weapon fire almost like an automatic weapon.

"It's a good first step," she said, "We need to do more, but I'm pleased to see that there is a bi-partisan effort going on." 

She said there is another bill that she supports that limits the size of a gun magazine, and Rosen also supports reinstating the ban on assault weapons that lapsed during the Bush Administration. 

“I support an assault weapons ban because I think we can fully support the Second Amendment and be sure we have common sense gun safety,” she said. 

Gun laws aren't the only issue that Rosen is reaching across the aisle to help find solutions for. Rosen and the Problem Solvers Caucus is also working on infrastructure, tax reform and health care. 

Rosen said the caucus works together to build a consensus on solutions that can then be sent to each party's leadership.

“We’re trying to put options forward to lay a framework on the table so leadership will come within the committees of jurisdiction to allow us to come and have these conversations,” she said.

Rosen said the framework they presented to the leadership on healthcare is an example of the kind of compromise they're working for.

"You can't sacrifice the good for the perfect," she said. 

She wants Congress to negotiate in an "overall way that is good for everyone."

Rosen wants the same thing with tax reform and with any changes to immigration policy.

“There is at least 50 of us that are coming together and now people are starting to ask us to join, come on our waiting list, understanding that when we come to consensus we are all going to bold enough to work on these problems and vote in a way that sticks together,” she said.

Rosen believes as the small successes of the caucus start to build up there will be even more momentum because people want to return to the time when lawmakers had conversations.

Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-NV

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)