How bipartisan can you get?
The VA bill that just passed the House of Representatives near unanimously was negotiated by a very liberal senator who caucuses with the Democrats and a rather conservative member of the House of Representatives.
Those negotiations were helped along by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat, and Senator McCain, a Republican.
When talks bogged down, congressional leaders made critical, highly partisan comments in the press.
But, according to Politico:
[L]awmakers like McCain and Maine Rep. Michael Michaud, the top House Democrat on veterans’ issues, tried to help arbitrate talks between Sanders and Miller.
“They both had to do what they had to do, then it was time to move on,” Michaud said in an interview. “And they were both right. They know that we could not leave for the August break without getting a conference done and sending a bill to the president’s desk.” [source]
In addition, as Bangor Daily News reporter Christopher Cousins notes, Michaud’s actions garnered public praise from a bipartisan group of House Members.
The Senate is likely to vote today, with the compromise bill expected to pass overwhelmingly and perhaps unanimously.
At a time when Congress has been so ineffective and partisan polarization has been so strong, these demonstrations of bipartisanship are laudable.