There were whispers in Washington on Wednesday suggesting that the GOP was likely to seek compromise and accommodation with Obama and the Dems. Most likely, the rumors were started by Dems seeking to undermine the sense of victory and accomplishment that most Republicans are feeling in the wake of the biggest GOP nationwide non-presidential victory in over 70 years! There might also be a few establishment GOP types in Washington, whose bread and butter (more like caviar) depends on selling out conservative principles but these are few.
All these rumors can be easily put to rest with the statements today by incoming House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
Here's Boehner's interview on Fox News:
Fox News "Special Report," transcript November 4, 2010.Senate Minority Leader McConnell at Heritage Foundation
BOEHNER: Bret, I am not going to compromise on my principles nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people. To the extent that the president wants to work with us on reducing the size, scope and the intrusion of the federal government, we're willing to work with him. The American people spoke pretty loudly the other night. They want us to stop the spending. And it's going to be our principal goal. The second goal is that they want jobs in America. And you can't have jobs in America when -- when you have all this uncertainty coming out of Washington. And when you extend tax rates for a year, you leave all the uncertainty hanging out there.
BAIER: Health care -- the president says he's willing to tweak the health care law. You say you're committed to repealing it. There's a big distance between tweaking and repealing.
BOEHNER: Oh, that's a very big difference.
BAIER: You're still committed to repealing it?
BOEHNER: This health care bill will ruin the best health care system in the world and it will bankrupt our country.
BAIER: So you'll take a vote on...
BOEHNER: I am convinced...
BAIER: -- repealing it?
BOEHNER: We are going to repeal Obama Care and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the costs of health insurance.
BAIER: So what do you say to critics who say this vote is really a charade, knowing that a Democratic Senate will either stop it or the president will veto it and that it's taking time and you could be dealing with something else?
Why not try to compromise and -- and at least affect it now, the health care law, that you can?
BOEHNER: First and foremost, this is about the greatest health care system in the world. And secondly, let's not forget, this is also about jobs. And if you look at all of the requirements on employers, you can understand why they're not hiring new employees, because we've raised the cost of employment.
Beyond repealing Obama Care, we're going to do everything we can to stop this bill from being implemented, to make sure it never happens. And, frankly, if we're successful, this will become the number one issue in the presidential election in 2012.
BAIER: How -- how much time are you going to spend on this?
BOEHNER: As much...
BAIER: We've spent...
BOEHNER: -- as much as it takes.
Mitch McConnell address to the Heritage FoundationIt's clear GOP leaders understand the message of the November 2nd election and are committed to carrying out the agenda they ran on and one that the overwhelming majority of the American people voted to support!
GOP Senate transcript
November 4th, 2010
“As Democrats governed left, Republicans stood together time and again, making the case for conservative alternatives. And over the course of 19 months, Democrats added $3 trillion to the debt, more than 2.5 million Americans would lose their jobs … and Republicans would win races in states that had gone solidly for Democrats in 2008 —states like Virginia, New Jersey, and, of all places, Massachusetts. Clearly, the Democrat agenda was not the change Americans had hoped for. And Republicans were offering a clear alternative. That was the message of those races. And that was the message on Tuesday.
“The question now is whether Americans were wise to entrust Republicans with the task of reversing the damage. In answer, I would argue that Republicans can be entrusted with the task voters have given us — not because we say so, but because we’ve already been at it for two years. We have shown that we share the priorities the people have voiced. We have fought to defend them. Now we’re ready to get back to work on their behalf.
“Which raises a practical question: what can Americans expect from Republicans now?
“Let’s start with the big picture. Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things. We can hope the President will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s election. But we can’t plan on it. And it would be foolish to expect that Republicans will be able to completely reverse the damage Democrats have done as long as a Democrat holds the veto pen.
“There’s just no getting around it.
“By their own admission, leaders of the Republican Revolution of 1994 think their greatest mistake was overlooking the power of the veto. They gave the impression they were somehow in charge when they weren’t. And after President Clinton vetoed their bills, making it impossible for them to accomplish all their goals, they ended up being viewed as failures, sellouts, or both. Today, Democrats not only have the White House. They have the Senate too. So we have to be realistic about what we can and cannot achieve, while at the same recognizing that realism should never be confused with capitulation.
“On health care, that means we can — and should — propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly. But we can’t expect the president to sign it. So we’ll also have to work, in the House, on denying funds for implementation, and, in the Senate, on votes against its most egregious provisions. At the same time, we’ll need to continue educating the public about the ill-effects of this bill on individuals young and old, families, and small businesses.
“And this is why oversight will play a crucial role in Republican efforts going forward.
“We may not be able to bring about straight repeal in the next two years, and we may not win every vote against targeted provisions, even though we should have bipartisan support for some. But we can compel administration officials to attempt to defend this indefensible health spending bill and other costly, government-driven measures, like the Stimulus and financial reform. We also need groups like Heritage to continue studying the ill-effects of the health care bill, and to show how its implementation is hurting families, seniors, and small businesses, limiting choices and making us less competitive. We welcome any help we can get in reversing the damage this bill has done and will do.
“Through oversight we’ll also keep a spotlight on the various agencies the administration will now use to advance through regulation what it can’t through legislation. Potential backdoor efforts in this area could include imposing a new national energy tax through the EPA now that cap-and-trade is dead, additional health care provisions through HHS, Card Check through the National Labor Relations Board, and some form of immigration change through the use of administrative amnesty and the selective enforcement of our laws.
To Democrats and some establishment Republicans who say compromise is the only way forward, I invite them to compromise with the MAJORITY!