Rep. Steven LaTourette, an Ohio Republican who has helped lead congressional efforts to build on the work of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission, last week announced he would not seek re-election.
While he plans to continue pushing for fiscal reform for the rest of his term, he expressed frustration that many people on both the right and the left have come to view compromise as cowardice.
Such concerns have also been voiced by many other moderates in Washington. Steve Winn, communications director for The Concord Coalition, writes in a recent blog post that this frustration “should serve as a warning to American voters that partisanship and political intransigence are clouding the country’s future.”
LaTourette deserves high praise for the broad, bipartisan budget plan he introduced earlier this year with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) Concord is honoring LaTourette, Cooper and 36 other House members from both parties for their courageous support of the plan. Cooper and LaTourette will accept the 2012 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award on behalf of all of the honorees at a Washington dinner marking Concord’s 20th anniversary next month.
LaTourette and three other supporters of the Cooper-LaTourette legislation -- Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Charles Bass (R-N.H.) -- held a press conference last week to call for bipartisan cooperation in dealing with budget decisions that need to be made this year.