The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Guest Column

The voters want cooperation

cooperation by Patty Murray, U.S. Senator
The election is over and the voters have spoken. Now it's time to go to work. So what did we learn?
   The results show that people in Washington State want their elected officials to discuss the issues and work together to represent their needs. They don't want partisan bickering and gridlock.
   Voters in Washington overwhelmingly re-elected President Clinton and put Democrats in seven of eight statewide offices. In turn, they also elected a Republican legislature and helped keep a Republican majority in Congress. The message is clear: People don't want extremes.
   In past years, our state's Congressional delegation had a reputation for working together in the interest of Washington State. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, we have not seen this bipartisan cooperation over the last few years.
   The challenge of showing leadership and being an effective legislator is knowing when to compromise to achieve your goals. Clearly, the 1996 elections have shown that is what the voters want us to do.
   As the 105th Congress begins, I am hopeful the spirit of cooperation will continue. There is much work to be done. I will continue to focus my efforts in the Senate on three areas: America's children, economic growth, and protecting the quality of life for all Washingtonians.
   At the national level, I will work to make sure we have a basic level of acceptable standards for our children's education, health, and safety. We must help give young people the tools necessary to succeed, including access to technology.
   As one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, I will work to help open new markets with existing trade partners and expand economic opportunities for businesses in Washington state.
   And finally, I will work to protect the quality of life so important to all of us in the Pacific Northwest. To achieve these goals, I will look for areas where I can work with my Republican colleagues to pass legislation.
   One thing is clear. We must put the needs of the people in Washington State ahead of partisan differences. Now it's time to get down to business and move forward in a positive direction.