To: Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and The United States House of Representatives

Elect a bipartisan Speaker of the House

We call upon U.S. House Democrats and moderate Republicans to elect a bipartisan Speaker of the House of Representatives who will help the House end political gridlock and work together.

Why is this important?

Getting House members to work together should be the main job of the House Speaker. The Speaker should not be controlled by a minority of Representatives, as is currently the case. This is all the more urgent since the Speaker is second in line for becoming President!

Currently, members of the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives (Democrats) are under pressure by their own party to vote strictly on party-lines. Yet this means that the members of the minority party essentially throw away their votes and miss a strategic opportunity to elect a more bipartisan Speaker.

This is actually possible. It takes only seventeen Republicans, plus all Democrats, to have a majority of the House. If this effort even gets close to working, it will have a lasting effect.

As citizens and voters, we insist that our representatives make Congress more bipartisan. Democrats and many Republicans understand that an extremist, no-compromise approach to governance is bad for America and Americans. We want Democrats, as the minority party, and moderate Republicans to work together to elect a moderate, collaborative member of the majority party as Speaker of the House.

We need an immediate, limited solution to shutdown and default crisis. However, this petition's call to action is a doable and more permanent way to prevent crises like this one from recurring--by making it difficult for a small radical minority to hold our government and economy hostage.

(For more background, see this Washington Post story: