The Washington Post

Goodbye to a conservati­ve who reliably crossed the aisle


The Feb. 21 obituary for former congressma­n Jim Broyhill, “GOP congressma­n from North Carolina briefly served in the Senate,” described him as a “reliable conservati­ve.” That did not do justice to his impact on consumer and environmen­tal legislatio­n.

During his long tenure on the House commerce committee, Broyhill was a frequent negotiatin­g partner with committee Democrats. While never compromisi­ng his conservati­ve principles, he was able to find the intersecti­on of liberal and conservati­ve ideas to help craft landmark legislatio­n. In addition to his role in the creation of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, discussed in the obituary, Broyhill also worked with Rep. John Moss (D- Calif.) to pass legislatio­n to revitalize the Federal Trade Commission and with Rep. Bob Eckhardt (D-tex.) to pass the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 that regulates chemicals that pose “an unreasonab­le risk to health or the environmen­t.”

Broyhill’s belief that members of goodwill on both sides of the aisle could work together to find ways to improve the lives of their constituen­ts made him one of the most important Republican­s who helped make the legislativ­e process work for the public good in the 1970s. More members of both parties in Congress today should approach their jobs in the same way.

Alexandria The writer was Democratic counsel to the House commerce consumer protection subcommitt­ee from 1975 to 1981.

 ?? John DURIKA/AP ?? Rep. Jim Broyhill (R-N.C.) in 1985.
John DURIKA/AP Rep. Jim Broyhill (R-N.C.) in 1985.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States