Democratic Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones could end up being a key ally for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican leadership when he takes office.
Jones said Sunday that people should not consider him someone who is going to vote along the party lines on every issue. This would be a beneficial for GOP leadership that is desperate for bipartisan support.
“I’m going to talk to people on both sides of the aisle and try to figure out what I think is in the best interest of my state and the country,” Jones told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. The senator-elect also plans to leave “all the options on the table” and people should not “expect me to vote solidly for Republicans or Democrats,” he said.
Senate Democrats have remained united in opposition to any major legislation their Republican colleagues have put forth in 2017. Whether it was the campaign to repeal Obamacare or the recently passed tax reform bill, Senate Democrats have given a firm thumbs down to the Republican legislative agenda.
McConnell and GOP leadership have met so much gridlock across the aisle that they are pushing all legislation through the chamber’s budget reconciliation process, that allows lawmakers to pass bills with a simple majority and bypasses filibusters from Democrats.
If Jones is being truthful, his vote could prove key for Republicans in 2018. A handful of Senate Republicans, along with Democrats, have threatened to upend every major legislative push this year. Jones could very well prove to be a crucial vote for Senate leadership.
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