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|User Info||GOP House Leaders Seek to Avoid Mistakes of '94 ; entered at 2010-10-19 09:02:25|
Registered: 2008-04-03 State of Disbelief
I really, really despise GOP "leaders". Talk about STUPID !|
PORTLAND, Ore.—Republicans on the campaign trail are bashing the president and his agenda and some are vowing to shut down Washington if they don't get their way. Behind the scenes, key party members are talking a different game.
A number of House Republicans, including some who are likely to be in the leadership, are pushing a post-election strategy aimed at securing concrete legislation, with the goal of showing they can translate general principles into specific action.
Among the ideas is to bring a series of bills to the floor, as often as once a week, designed to cut spending in some way. Longer term, GOP leaders say they recognize they may have to compromise with Democrats in tackling broader problems.
If they recapture the House, Republicans say they are wary of following the example of the class of 1994, which shut down the government in a standoff with President Bill Clinton. Top Republicans contend that passing legislation, or at least making a good faith effort to do so, will earn them more credibility with voters than refusing to waver from purist principles.
"It's pretty clear the American people expect us to use the existing gridlock to create compromise and advance their agenda," said Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.). "They want us to come together [with the administration] after we agree to disagree."
GOP leaders stressed that this depends on the willingness of President Barack Obama to compromise as well. And some say if the post-election atmosphere is especially toxic, such compromises may be difficult.
The approach stands in contrast to the Senate, where Republican nominees including Kentucky's Rand Paul and Nevada's Sharron Angle more clearly represent the anti-establishment instincts of the tea-party movement. This would be a role reversal of sorts—the Senate was designed by the founding fathers to be the more sober institution.
Under the leadership of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a rising star, the GOP has recruited a slate of House candidates with an array of political experience, suggesting they know how to work within the strictures of government. In many cases, these aspirants boast of their record of working with Democrats.
The GOP roster doesn't fit the image of an invading revolutionary force. Of the Republicans' 89 "Young Guns," as the party's top House candidates are called, 55 have political experience. Five are former congressmen seeking their old seats back, such as former Rep. Steve Chabot, who served 14 years in the House. The rest are mostly state legislators, a typical path to Congress. Of the 34 newcomers, many are relatively mainstream candidates or aren't expected to win.
On a trip last week to encourage candidates in the Northwest, Mr. McCarthy visited a number of relatively traditional GOP candidates. Among them were Jaime Herrera, a Washington state legislator and former congressional aide. Mr. McCarthy appeared with Oregon State Rep. Scott Bruun, a legislator known for working with Democrats. And he held a breakfast fund-raiser in Portland for Rob Cornilles, a political novice and underdog in a Democratic district.
House Republican leaders including Mr. McCarthy have reached out to the tea-party movement, attended rallies, crafted a "Pledge to America" that reflects the movement's anti-establishment sensibilities and emphasized their sympathy with activists' anger at Washington. The incoming Republican caucus intends to move swiftly on key conservative priorities including spending, taxes and deficits.
But the party is also aware it may have a brief shot at convincing voters it has changed since the last time it held power, under President George W. Bush. Most Republicans now say the party strayed in matters such as spending and ethics.
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