Despite Jacobson’s confidence, though, the jury’s still out. I spoke with a number of Hill staffers from both sides of the aisle about the group, and it seems to have created at least one point of bipartisan consensus: No Labels isn’t quite a force to be reckoned with yet.
The group is pushing for a smorgasbord of fairly nonpartisan policy changes, including five-day work weeks for Congress, the passage of No Budget No Pay legislation, and bipartisan seating at joint meetings of Congress. Their efforts don’t seem to have made much of a splash on the Hill.
One staffer tells me that the only interaction he’d had with No Labels was when the group tried to get Democrats and Republicans to sit next to each other at last year’s State of the Union address. “Not exactly a hard-hitting agenda,” he added.
“They don’t stand out from any other organization lobbying Congress,” says another House Republican aide. She adds that she thought the group hadn’t reached out to her boss’s office because he’s “a very principled conservative.”