New York Times: Governor Hogan To Lead National Effort Pushing Congress To Deliver Results

The New York Times reported that Governor Hogan has been tapped by the national bipartisan political organization No Labels as a National Co-Chair, positioning him to lead a national effort pushing Congress to deliver real results for the American people. No Labels “supports the 50-member House Problem Solvers Caucus and a smaller group of eight centrist senators,” which crafted the current bipartisan stimulus package.

Governor Hogan has become “increasingly involved with the organization in recent months” as he’s been a leading national voice for Congress to take action on the stimulus and as he’s successfully helped re-elect pragmatic common-sense conservatives to Congress.

As Business Insider wrote yesterday Governor Hogan has built a national image as a “center-right” Reagan conservative and “one of the more competent state executives handling the coronavirus pandemic.”

No Labels, Planning Centrist Push in New Congress, Taps Larry Hogan

The bipartisan organization has selected the Maryland governor, a Republican, as a leader, ramping up its campaign to influence the new Congress.

Luke Broadwater

The New York Times

The bipartisan political organization No Labels plans to announce on Tuesday that it has named Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, as its new national co-chairman as it pushes lawmakers to embrace centrist policies in a new Congress.

Mr. Hogan, who is trying to play a larger role in national politics as his second term as governor of a solidly Democratic state draws to an end in 2022, will join former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, in leading the organization, which supports the 50-member House Problem Solvers Caucus and a smaller group of eight centrist senators.

Those lawmakers in recent weeks have been working on a stimulus compromise to break the gridlock over coronavirus relief.

“No Labels is really at a great moment right now of realizing the goals of the organization when it was started 10 years ago,” Mr. Lieberman said Monday. “I expect Governor Hogan will be expanding our reach to the nation’s governors.”

The announcement was scheduled to be made Tuesday evening in a Zoom call with supporters.

Mr. Hogan has become increasingly involved with the organization in recent months, meeting with members of the House and Senate about the need for more aid to state and local governments in response to the pandemic. Over the summer, he made a campaign ad for Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, and he campaigned for other Republican members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, including Representatives John Katko of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Don Bacon of Nebraska

Mr. Hogan said he had been impressed with how Ms. Collins and other negotiators had “pushed against their leadership for compromise when their leaders are miles apart” on trying to get a new stimulus agreement.

“If it’s going to get done in Congress,” he said, “this group is going to have a lot to do with getting it done.”

After publicly flirting last year with a primary challenge to the president, Mr. Hogan took a number of steps to try to increase his national profile, including becoming chairman of the National Governors Association and starting a book tour.

He released a video made with Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and other centrists asking the public to respect the results of the election.

Mr. Hogan, who wrote in Ronald Reagan for president this year, emphasized that he has not engaged with only centrists, but also with conservative and pro-Trump Republicans. He spoke at the Ronald Reagan Institute and endorsed Senators David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler, both Republican of Georgia, who are staunch supporters of Mr. Trump and are both facing January runoff elections that could determine which party controls the Senate.

“I’m still a committed, what I would call common-sense, conservative Republican,” Mr. Hogan said.

With President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. preparing to govern from the middle in a Congress where thin majorities in both chambers will force compromise, the No Labels organization has been working to pair up Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both chambers to work out deals on some of the most intractable issues of recent years, including immigration reform and infrastructure spending.

Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, said he would participate in the group’s effort to reduce the national debt. Ms. Collins said she would be partnering with Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, to tackle the high costs of prescription drugs.

“This is an outside group that has made a vital difference and filled a real need for a group in the middle that’s centrist,” Ms. Collins said of No Labels. “What we need are fanatical moderates.”

In an interview this week, Mr. Manchin said he continued to believe in the organization’s goals and thought Mr. Hogan could help invigorate the group.

“He doesn’t worry about whether it’s a Democratic idea or a Republican idea,” Mr. Manchin said of Mr. Hogan. “Larry’s going to be a natural at bringing other governors on board.”

In an interview, Mr. Lieberman said fund-raising was an essential part of the group’s mission to help those members who might lose support by working with a member of another party in a deeply divided United States.

“If you’re willing to stick your neck out and work across party lines, and as a result you don’t get the campaign contributions you used to get, then we’re going to try to raise money for you,” Mr. Lieberman said. “We have your back.”

“We got beaten up for it, but that turned out to be something that made this place work better,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey and a chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus.

Mr. Gottheimer said he welcomed Mr. Hogan’s greater involvement in the No Labels organization, but he emphasized that it provides support to lawmakers — it does not tell them what to do.

“What I’m focused on is how do we bring people together across the aisle,” Mr. Gottheimer said. “We have too many groups focused on dividing. We need more groups focused on uniting.”