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Politics & Government

Congressman Dent: Broken Washington Might Be on the Mend

Republican Congressman Charlie Dent is spreading his message of dismay about polarization in the nation’s capital.

In a speech before the Pennsylvania Press Club, Dent said “today, Washington is broken.”

As evidence, he points to the recent government shutdown, inaction to redistribute sequestration cuts, and the Senate Democrats’ move to eliminate the use of the filibuster.

But Dent says some of his Republican colleagues who have been slow to accept compromise in the past may be coming around to the idea.

"I think many are smarter now, recognizing the limitations that we face in a divided government, and that every major bill we’ve passed this year has had to have bipartisan coalitions, and that’s got to be the path going forward," he said.

Dent represents Lehigh County and parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Northampton counties.

He became the face of the moderate Congressional Republicans in October when he urged his colleagues to end the government shutdown, which was forced by those who insisted the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.

He disputes the idea that the Republican party is in crisis.

Dent acknowledges rifts in the GOP over legislative tactics but says they don’t necessarily point to policy differences.