Democratic and Republican lawmakers unify to form bipartisan legislative caucus

Reps. Kinsey and Rothman seek to improve civility in the legislature

HARRISBURG, Dec. 3 – Democratic state Rep. Stephen Kinsey and Republican state Rep. Greg Rothman have joined forces to form a first-of-its-kind bipartisan caucus for the upcoming 2021-22 legislative session.

The newly formed legislative body – which has a growing number of lawmakers pledging membership from both sides of the political aisle – is meant to serve as a medium for Democrats and Republicans to come together through open dialogue with the goal of enacting meaningful policy that centers helping the people of Pennsylvania.

“Our caucus aims to buck this undercurrent of centering party matters in legislative matters, which sometimes deters members on both sides of the aisle from collaborating with each other. As lawmakers, working toward a better and more equitable commonwealth for all should be our top priority, and legislating with a focus on party is a direct detriment to this goal,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Representative Rothman is a dependable ally, and I am honored to call him my friend. He has never let partisanship impede the goal of doing what’s right for the people of this commonwealth. He possesses the drive needed to spearhead and make this caucus successful. I look forward to what we can accomplish together.”

Reciprocating those sentiments, Rothman, R-Cumberland, said that he too has found friendship in Kinsey, and called for civility among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“Democracy requires unity and civility,” Rothman said. “Representative Kinsey is my best friend in the legislature, despite our being from different districts and different political parties. We want to set the example that we can disagree with respect and civility. We should always be looking for what we have in common.”

Kinsey and Rothman not only come from opposite sides of the aisle in the House chamber, but also different geographical and political landscapes within the commonwealth. Kinsey hails from Philadelphia, the state’s predominantly Democratic and most populous urban area; meanwhile Rothman hails from Cumberland County, a mostly Republican, quasi-urban, suburban, and rural county.

“Our experiences shape how we legislate, but we must also be mindful about how our bills impact residents in different areas of the state,” Kinsey said. “Consistently having conversations with members from these geographically and socially diverse regions reveal our similarities, and ultimately help us to come together to create more sound legislation.”