Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz and three other military veterans in Congress announced the formation of a new, bipartisan, veterans’ “For Country” caucus they say they intend to be a model to restore civility and trust.
Waltz, Democratic U.S. Reps. Jimmy Panetta of California and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, and Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, announced the new caucus Tuesday in an op-ed published by the Washington Post. Waltz, of Flagler County, is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard.
Their column decried the fact that military veterans once made up 70 percent of the membership of Congress and carried a sense of decorum, but now represent only 18 percent and Congress is “often paralyzed by debilitating bickering and gridlock… rated as one of the least trusted institutions in the United States.”
“These trends are not a coincidence,” they declared in the column.
“The caucus will provide principled military veteran members a platform to work in a nonpartisan way and create a more productive government,” they wrote. “For Country’s vision is a less polarized Congress that works for — and is trusted by — Americans. We seek a Congress where members serve with integrity, civility and courage. And we want a Congress that is strategic in purpose, focused in action and where elected officials put their country first.”