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Cross-country Road Trip Spurs A New Bipartisan Relationship In Congress

Kevin King

Kevin King

Mar 18, 2017

After a D.C. snowstorm canceled their flights, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX-23) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX-16) rented a Chevy Impala and trail-blazed 31 hours across the country on a #bipartisanroadtrip. 

Putting their social media skills to use, the Texas congressmen used Facebook Live to host a traveling town hall -- inviting viewers to join the discussion on issues ranging from healthcare to ISIS to what song they should play next.

However, a deeper look into Rep. O’Rourke & Rep. Hurd’s relationship in the House reveals just how little the congressmen worked together before their newfound bromance.

Rep. Hurd & Rep. O’Rourke have only voted the same way 22% of the time.

Since Rep. Hurd was elected to Congress in 2015, he’s voted a total of 1,179 times on legislation. Of those 1,179 votes, the road trip companions voted the same way only 267 times.

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Rep. O’Rourke has only cosponsored 2 of Rep. Hurd’s bills.  

Rep. O’Rourke has cosponsored more bills with 21 different Republicans than he’s cosponsored with Rep. Hurd. Of the 14 bills Rep. Hurd has introduced to Congress, Rep. O'Rourke has only cosponsored 2 of those bills. 

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Rep. O’Rourke is Rep. Hurd’s number one bipartisan colleague.

Despite not making his road warrior’s top twenty, Rep. Hurd’s number one bipartisan colleague is, in fact, Rep. O’Rourke. Rep. Hurd has cosponsored 4 of Rep. O’Rourke’s bills including the recently reintroduced 21st Century Small Community Air Service Development Program Act.

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A full list of Rep. O'Rourke bills cosponsored by Rep. Hurd ...

H.R. 973 - 21st Century SCASDP Act  (reintroduced Feb. 2017)
H.R. 1084 - 21st Century SCASDP Act
H.R. 883 - Emergency Port of Entry Personnel and Infrastructure Funding Act of 2015
H.R. 800 - Express Appeals Act

The road ahead

On Friday afternoon, the congressmen turned their road trip into action and agreed to cosponsor one another's legislation. Given their limited bipartisan history, the roadtrip and subsquent cosponsorships may indeed be the catalyst to a more productive relationship in Congress. Perhaps most telling, however, was the outpour of support from members of Congress who called into the livestream and encouraged such a novel display of bipartisanship. That said, it’s one thing to go viral … it’s another to pass bipartisan legislation.

 

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