'Bipartisan' Anti-Trump Caucus in Congress Splits Over Partisan Attack on a Democratic Member

Jacquelyn Martin

In 2016, seventeen candidates were vying for the Republican nomination for president. At the time, Donald Trump wasn’t given much of a chance in a field of heavy hitters like early front-runners Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.


But with a dozen or more serious candidates in the race, it became clear almost immediately that unless most of those candidates dropped out to allow one or two candidates to challenge Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon would win enough convention delegates to breeze through to a victory.

And that’s what happened. Trump was not the favorite to win the race at the beginning. Still, with the failure of the opposition to coalesce behind a viable alternative, Trump was able to gather enough delegates to win the nomination.

The question in 2024 has always been, can the opposition to Trump settle on one candidate who could unite the anti-Trump forces and challenge the former president in the primaries? The answer to that question, as of now, is a decided “no.” At least, not as far as the “Problem Solvers Caucus” is concerned.

The 64-member Problem Solvers Caucus was started by the “No Labels Party,” which purports to seek “unity” in politics. No Labels has been pushing the idea of a “unity ticket” of a Democrat and Republican getting on all 50 state ballots to challenge both Trump and Joe Biden.

But some Democrats see a hidden agenda. Polls show the No Labels Party would siphon more voters from the Democrats with their “unity ticket” than they would draw from the GOP. Politico reports that “No Labels texted people who live in the district of Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), criticizing the congressman for scoffing at their idea for a unity presidential ticket and claiming it could result in Donald Trump’s return to the presidency.”


Schneider — and several Democrats — were livid. “No Labels’ attacks are the kind of division the country needs less of right now, and it’s a betrayal of every moderate and every problem solver in Congress,” Schneider said in a statement to Politico. “I helped form the Problem Solvers Caucus six years ago to reach across the aisle and find common ground, not to abandon my principles. I am as committed today as I’ve always been to the principles that reflect the values and priorities of my district, and to reaching across the aisle for the good of our country.”

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) criticized No Labels for their “unity ticket” plan, which they claim would do nothing but make a Trump victory more probable. “Now, the organization has decided to go one step further and attack a decent, well-respected, and hardworking member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus for the apparent sin of calling them out on their bogus plan.”

The Problem Solvers Caucus has foresworn partisan politics, but being in Congress makes it impossible to maintain neutrality. And the whole point of forming the No Labels Party was to change the left-right dynamic and elect moderates to federal office.


What this internal spat between anti-Trump forces means is that opposition to the former president is just as hopelessly divided now as it was in 2020. For Trump, who was already pulling away from Governor DeSantis and the rest of the field, it means he may be able to pivot to the general election contest against Biden even earlier than he first believed.



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