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Opinion: Bipartisanship is not dead

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Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., accompanied by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, after she and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., say they have the "basic outlines" of a bipartisan deal to resume payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Our elected officials should put the good of the country and its people over ideology, fundraising and electoral politics.

A discussion I recently had, and progress I have seen coming out of Washington, have reinforced my belief that this is possible.

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, told me the following:

"I’ve always been open to working with every American. Every West Virginian, Republican, Independent, Mountain Party, they know I’m there to try to help West Virginia. That’s my goal. I want country to be strong, I want my state to be free, and I want my state to have opportunities."

This is the exact sentiment we need more of in Washington.

We have seen some bipartisan efforts this year. The Forever GI Bill expanding benefits for veterans, efforts to curb the opioid crisis, prevention of harassment on Capitol Hill have all received support from both sides of the aisle. Let’s not forget President Trump working with Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to raise the debt limit, keep the government funded and provide money for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Even on the divisive issue of healthcare, the Murray-Alexander bill has 13 Democrat and 13 Republican sponsors. The bill would extend healthcare subsidy payments by two years while allowing states to cut costs.

Here is the bottom line: bipartisanship is not a dirty word and it is not dead. What we have seen this year should be just the start of our public officials serving Americans’ best interest by consistently reaching across party lines.