A year ago I would not have predicted the re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). His negative rating was 56% and Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Reid portrayed himself as a moderate, but that was difficult to do after he became Majority Leader. Nevertheless, he has now been returned for a fifth term by a comfortable five percent margin.
President Obama and Senator Reid have both described the 2010 election as a huge GOP victory, and I was pleased with their conciliatory rhetoric at yesterday’s press conference. However, some of their claims are outrageous lies. For example, Reid says he would welcome “serious Republican ideas” and is:
begging for Republican input. . . They simply weren’t willing to work with us. That is where they came up with the designation of the party of no. . . I have always felt that my job is to build consensus, to work out legislation. It’s not a bad word to suggest that legislation is the art of compromise. That is what it is. So I am going to do everything I can to do that. . . The message, I repeat today, is that the ball is in their court.
Republicans have always tried to work with the Democratic leadership. For two years we said the economy can not recover with a giant energy tax, a massive health tax, continued deficits and the end of the Bush tax cuts. The voters now agree with us, but we have no interest in gloating. The nation faces serious problems and we can achieve great results by working together.
Republicans compromised with the Clinton Administration and the result was welfare reform, the balanced budget amendment and the capital gains tax cut. Clinton and Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (SD) would talk to us, but in the past Obama and Reid slammed the door in our face.
This was unfortunate because ObamaCare impacts 20% of the American economy, but the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader rejected all attempts at compromise. If the President and the Majority Leader are now sincere, we would like to begin by talking to them about tort reform, portability and malpractice rules.
Litigation reform is needed to protect every doctor in America from inappropriate and unnecessary defensive medicine. We want individuals and small businesses to be able to group together to be able to buy health insurance across state lines at lower costs with no government involvement.
Senator Reid has not considered those “serious ideas” in the past. Republicans never walked away from the health care debate, and of course we acknowledge the many problems with the current system.
The GOP has already offered to compromise on many issues, and we are not insisting on all of our suggested budget reductions. We are willing to accept a two year extension of all the Bush tax cuts rather than a permanent extension.
The GOP will compromise on the means testing of entitlement benefits, and other Social Security reforms. If the Democrats accept significant reforms, the GOP will agree to increasing the age of eligibility and changing the formula used to calculate the annual cost of living adjustment.
President Obama already has the 14 votes he needs for passage of a final report by the Bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. We will not know the final deficit reduction recommendations until next month, but we expect many of them to be the same things we advocated when Bush was president. I believe Obama’s commission will be Bush’s vindication from the 2006 campaign.
Republicans are willing to work with the White House and the Senate Majority, and we want to begin this process by discussing controlled spending and a roadmap to a balanced Federal budget. We will continue to support the President’s Afghan surge. We have always supported his efforts to expand free trade and we now hope the Majority Leader will bring these initiatives to the floor. The President’s rhetoric in support of nuclear power has been wonderful. Now lets move forward together to reduce our dependence on foreign oil through new nuclear power plants.
Lets move forward with five specific tax cuts for small business and cutting their regulatory burden. Small businesses should be focusing on creating jobs, not filling out Federal paperwork. President Obama will not re-elected if he is unable to jump start the economy.
We want a Republican to win, but the American people should not have to suffer for another two years. It will help the President, but Republicans will agree to a 50-percent reduction in Social Security and Medicare taxes for both the employer and the employee for two full years to help the economy and increase the liquidity of small business. We are the party of yes when it comes to ending Congressional spending earmarks. We hope the Democrats will join us in this effort, and together we can finally end the Capitol Hill favor factory.