When members from two different political parties (in the contemporary Congress, Democrats and Republicans) work together to find a common solution, or when members from both parties work together in a group or jointly sponsor or co-sponsor legislation.
In the House, the Speaker consults on the Office of General Counsel‘s direction with other members of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, who are the majority leader, majority whip, minority leader, and minority whip.
Similarly, the head of the Senate Office of Legal Counsel (2 U.S.C. § 288) is responsible to the bipartisan joint leadership group consisting of the majority and minority leaders, president pro tempore, and the chairs and ranking minority members of the Senate Judiciary and Rules and Administration Committees.
Why is bipartisan compromise so difficult?
For committee staff members, the degree of bipartisanship between majority and minority staffs depends largely on the tone set by members: on some committees staff from both parties work closely with each other, while on other committees the relationship is more adversarial.
An example of the use of “bipartisan” in a sentence:
A rare bipartisan group of senators, including Rand Paul, R-K.Y., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Chris Murphy, D-Conn. And Tom Udall, D-N.M., have called on Congress to have an open and honest debate over whether or not to arm Syrian rebels.
. . .
The group has introduced a bill that would ban direct or indirect aid for military and paramilitary operations in Syria, but would not prevent further humanitarian aid. Just as with Libya, the senators believe that Congress needs to authorize any involvement in Syria, and each have called for debate on the subject along with Murphy.
Paul: “The American people deserve real deliberation by their elected officials before we send arms to a region rife with extremists who seek to threaten the U.S. and her allies.”
Also see Chaplain; Legislative Branch Agencies; § 4.70 Committee and Subcommittee Staff, § 4.110 Administrative Offices of the House, § 4.120 Administrative Offices of the Senate, in Congressional Deskbook.
- Blue Dog Coalition / CMO (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and an FY2019 Budget Resolution,” CRS Report R45157 (34-page PDF)
- “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123): CHIP, Public Health, Home Visiting, and Medicaid Provisions in Division E,” CRS Report R45136 (56-page PDF)
- “Discretionary Spending Levels Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018,” CRS Insight IN10861 (6-page PDF)
- “Bipartisan bill would protect encrypted communications from the government,” by Dan King, Washington Examiner, August 24, 2018
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