The conflict between the parties and the disconnect between the White House and Congress over vital national security matters weakens public confidence in our elected leadership, confuses our allies and emboldens our enemies. We need to return to the days when partisanship stopped “at the water’s edge.” The president must approach Congress as a partner, not an obstacle, in developing a sound, principled approach to foreign affairs.

But Congress must do its part. At The Lugar Center we have developed, in cooperation with the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown, a Bipartisan Index which shows the past two Congresses have been the most partisan in the last 20 years. In mid-December, we will release an update of the Index ranking nearly all Senators who have served since 1993.

We hope this index, which ranks each legislator’s willingness to reach across the aisle when introducing or co-sponsoring legislation, will encourage lawmakers to find common ground with one another, and with the White House. 

Representatives who score well on the index are interested in governance. But in the last Congress they were significantly outnumbered by those who scored poorly and viewed their duties through a partisan lens.