- Republicans are optimistic they will be able to pass legislation before losing a majority in the House.
- Many members of Congress say Democrats will embarrass themselves if they push back on all legislation.
- The border wall and immigration remains a top priority for GOP lawmakers.
With seconds ticking off the clock, Republicans have precious little time to get their agenda through the House before Democrats seize control of the chamber and all its investigatory power.
Some of the most influential Republicans in Congress say the party still plans to drive legislative items through the House and to President Donald Trump’s desk, with a few key pieces of legislation at the forefront such as Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who was challenging California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy for the position of minority leader, naming a list of items he wants to have passed.
“Republicans still have an opportunity to do what we said. We should fund the border security wall, pass a farm bill that requires able-bodied adults to work if they receive welfare, and keep working to hold the FBI and [Department of Justice] accountable for their misconduct during and after the 2016 election,” Jordan told The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp echoed a very similar message to TheDCNF, when asked if Republicans will suffer greatly after losing the majority of the House to the Democratic Party on Nov. 6. Schlapp also recommended the Trump administration find issues that both parties can agree on, in order to actually get legislation passed.
“The Democrats risk looking like a party having a temper tantrum if they continue to just resist and persecute. They may dislike the president but he persists and they need to find a way to be constructive,” Schlapp said to TheDCNF. “The administration should also try to work on issues they can work together on like infrastructure, 5G, increasing labor availability, limiting overseas military engagements and the Nat’l security issues around China. The Democrats have a chance to look like they are ready for this moment and with big problems voters will be judging if this is a fling or a long term commitment.”
House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday that he is optimistic Republicans will pass some legislation before January, if Democrats do not obstruct moving forward. Brady mentioned the Family Savings Act, which passed the House in September, and mentioned Tax Reform 2.0, which also passed the House in September.
“So we’ve got a couple of priorities for the lame duck. Obviously, Tax Reform 2.0 passed out the House in July with 44 Democratic votes for the three bills, so we’re hopeful that we can find bipartisan support and common ground for some of that here in the lame duck. It remains yet to be seen,” Brady told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “I think, especially the Family Savings Act, which is a big step forward on helping families and workers save more and earlier. I think we’ve done good bipartisan work there, with the Senate as well, so I’m hopeful.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to win his bid for Senate, but is in the middle of a recount, told TheDCNF that he believes everyone who comes to Washington to serve in Congress is there to help the citizens they represent, saying he would work with “everybody” to get legislation passed.
“I think everyone comes up here with an idea of what they’d like to accomplish for their citizens they represent. I’m in the same position. I’m going to work with everybody I can to get stuff done and I hope everybody else does the same thing,” Scott, a Republican, told TheDCNF Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol.
Even Democrats say they will work with Republican lawmakers. Democratic Arizona Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema said she would be willing to work with Republicans on the border wall Wednesday afternoon, when asked by TheDCNF. Sinema, who faced a close election against Republican Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, said she would work with Republicans on “everything.”
“I’ll work with anyone on anything,” she said, in response to a question that asked specifically if she’d work with Republicans on the border wall. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sinema Says She’ll Work With Republicans On Border Wall)
Dozens of other Democrats in Congress did not respond to TheDCNF when asked about their plans to work with Republicans on legislation.
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