Issue One updates

ReFormers Caucus adds two Democrats and five Republicans at a time when crosspartisanship is desperately needed

  • Jalen Lee

As part of Issue One’s continued efforts to fix our broken political system and bring together a set of diverse voices, we are proud to announce new members of our ReFormers Caucus, the largest bipartisan coalition of former members of Congress, Cabinet officials, and governors ever assembled to fix our political system. In addition to their extraordinary experiences as lawmakers, these individuals each offer unique perspectives to the organization, expanding the collective pool of knowledge and relationships necessary to strengthen bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

The ReFormers Caucus welcomes: 

  • Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
  • Amb. Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL)
  • Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
  • Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
  • Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-WI)
  • Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY)

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA, 2015-2019) rose to be an effective legislator during her tenure in Congress, working on a variety of issues like paid parental leave for federal employees and closing the race, gender, and income gaps in small business patents. From 2015-2019, she helped pass four pieces of legislation that either had either bipartisan sponsorship or were enacted through overwhelmingly bipartisan votes. Prior to her election, she served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2010-2014 and held numerous roles in Congress as a staff member, including chief counsel on the House Oversight Committee. 

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL, 2015-2019), the son of Cuban political exiles, became a powerful member of the House of Representatives when he was elected to represent Florida’s 27th District. He was one of the most bipartisan members of Congress according to the Lugar Center’s bipartisan index. Since leaving office, Rep. Curbelo has been outspoken in his criticism of the increasing power of party leaders and the inability for younger members to be part of the legislative process. He also recently joined the Issue One Board of Directors.

Amb. Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL, 1993-1996) was the first Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, where she became a champion for women’s issues. As a senator, she sat on the influential Judiciary and Financial Services Committees, as well as the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlements and Tax Reform. Later in her career, Moseley-Braun was appointed as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa by former President Bill Clinton. Her experience creating solutions to complex financial issues and as a diplomat who served our country around the world is a welcome addition to the ReFormers Caucus. 

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA, 2005-2015) represented Louisiana’s 7th and 3rd Districts for 10 years. Prior to running for office, he was a surgeon for Charity Hospital in New Orleans. As a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittees on Human Resources and Select Revenue Measures, and as chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight, he enacted crosspartisan reforms to improve our healthcare, welfare, and labor systems. 

Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-WI, 1981-1997) represented Wisconsin’s 3rd District for eight consecutive terms. He found common ground with Democrats on marriage equality and brought more Republicans to the table on immigration policy reform. Gunderson primarily sponsored healthcare legislation, but gained widespread support for the Telecommunications Accessibility Enhancement Act, and was appointed to President Barack Obama’s “President’s Commission on White House Fellows.”

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD, 2008-2017) was the first Black woman to represent the state of Maryland in Congress. Before joining the House, she served as executive director for the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she helped pass the Violence Against Women Act. As a member of Congress, she worked on issues related to transportation, space, environment, and drug misuse. Edwards demonstrated her ability to reach across the aisle when she introduced the Stop Overdose Stat Act, garnering support from multiple Republicans. 

Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY, 1990-1997) has a proven track record working with members from across the political spectrum. While representing the state of New York, she was the primary sponsor of multiple bills that received broad bipartisan support, three of which were enacted into law. She worked to bring Democrats and Republicans together to solve issues related to protecting survivors of domestic violence, health and cancer, and international law. Through her committee assignments on the Education and Labor, Small Business, and Budget Committees, Molinari was never afraid to challenge the opposition coming from both outside and within her party. 

Issue One is honored and eager to work with these new ReFormers Caucus members on an array of reforms in the 117th Congress and beyond.