Dem rep says bipartisanship needed 'now more than ever'

Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Hillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure MORE (D-N.J.) called for more bipartisanship in an interview that aired Friday on "Rising" in the aftermath of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

"My big belief is that both sides should be working together, and I think now more than ever, especially in an era of divided government, we have to work together," Gottheimer, a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Tuesday. 

"There are things that I believe we can work together to get done, but we're going to have to work together," he continued. 

Gottheimer, who frequently calls for greater Republican and Democratic collaboration on Capitol Hill, made headlines during the shutdown for sitting down with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE at the White House last month in an effort to end the shutdown. 

"I think you have to engage and talk," the senator said when asked about his meeting with Trump. "If you just look at the last couple of weeks of the shutdown, I felt very strongly as did my party that you actually have to open the government back up before you had any conversations, but I also believe you have to be having those conversations about making sure that we have tough borders and that we fix immigration."

"When you've got the Senate controlled by Republicans and the White House controlled by Republicans, if we as Democrats want to get fixes to health care and making health care more affordable, and you want to actually deal with some of these pressing issues that we have to deal with, we're going to have to talk to each other," he said. 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are scrambling to meet a Feb. 15 deadline to come up with a deal on border security to avoid another government shutdown. 

The federal government was shut down for an unprecedented 35 days in December and January over disagreements to funding Trump's long-promised border wall along the U.S. southern border.  

— Julia Manchester