Republicans have an excellent opportunity to win enough seats next Tuesday to control the United States Senate.
That’s good news because a Republican Senate is the only way Washington is going to actually get anything significant done for the American people in the next two years.
If Americans listen to President Obama and Democrats, they might believe a Republican controlled House and Senate means the atmosphere in Washington will become even more toxic. The only way to break the gridlock in Washington is with a Republican majority in the Senate.
Six years into the Obama presidency, Americans understand that a flashy messaging campaign doesn’t deliver real change. In the midst of the ISIS threat, the Ebola outbreak, the Veterans scandal and other serious crises, people are looking for steady and effective leadership.
As former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole once said, “Leadership entails responsibility; above all, the responsibility to be responsible.”
The president has relied upon Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid to serve as his legislative barricade on Capitol Hill. This partnership has not benefited the President’s approval ratings, his legacy or more importantly the American people. Under Reid’s leadership, the Senate has become a place where good ideas go to die. He doesn’t hold real votes, he micromanages Committee Chairmen, and backtracks on his promises that his Senate will show up to work.
Republicans are focused on getting Congress working again and forcing the President to make decisions on the important policy issues that matter most to Americans.
We will show that we can govern.
We will deliver action, competence and accomplishment – and repeat the process again and again. We will hold consequential votes. We will pass appropriations bills. And we will conduct valuable oversight.
Jobs will be our first priority. A clear, bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a long list of bills to help Americans get back to work. We will send jobs bills to the President for his signature. If he wants to veto them, he’ll have to explain why he doesn’t support measures to help put Veterans back to work, lower our highest corporate tax rate in the world and roll back red tape that stifles economic growth.
In the middle of so much international turmoil, we know that we must take action to strengthen our energy security. We’ll send bills to the president that empower domestic energy producers to explore responsibly offshore, on public lands and in Alaska. And after six years of delay, we’ll force President Obama to finally give Americans an answer on the Keystone XL pipeline.
There is already bipartisan support for the administration to move quickly to export American liquefied natural gas to other countries. Washington should finally let allies across the world buy American energy instead of being held hostage by thugs like Vladimir Putin.
Republicans will stand up for Americans who are demanding that Washington finally improve our healthcare system.
Republicans will work to fully repeal ObamaCare, we understand the reality of President Obama holding his veto pen for two more years. Meanwhile, we’ll do everything we can to systematically strip away the very worst pieces of ObamaCare that have hurt patients, providers and our economy. We will vote to repeal the employer and individual mandates that prevent Americans from choosing the care that’s right for them.
There is also bipartisan agreement that we must restore the 40 hour work week so the law does not continue to target the take home pay of part-time workers.
We will vote to abolish the medical device tax that threatens jobs and life-saving innovation. And a Republican Congress will look out for taxpayers who are currently facing a $1 billion tab to bailout insurers that lose money offering ObamaCare coverage.
Our overarching goal will be to focus on what Americans wanted all along – access to quality, affordable health care. Instead of another legislative monstrosity with endless negative consequences, we will offer step by step reform bills.
We are going to do everything possible to transfer the power back from Washington to the American people so they can choose the care they need, from a doctor they want, at a lower cost.
We will lead on trade with our international allies. The President mentioned the benefits of increased trade in five of his State of the Union Addresses. If he is serious, he should welcome Republicans’ commitment to expanding trade. The next time the president calls on Congress to approve Trade Promotion Authority legislation – he’ll hear a resounding “yes” from the new majority party.
It will be better for the country if the American people wake up next Wednesday morning to a new reality in Washington. President Obama should get ready for a real year of action.
Republican John Barrasso represents Wyoming in the U.S. Senate. He serves in the Senate as a member of both the Energy and Environment Committees. Follow him on Twitter@SenJohnBarrasso.