Newspaper article Roll Call

Our Job: Defend Principles While Working Together : Roll Call Opinion

Newspaper article Roll Call

Our Job: Defend Principles While Working Together : Roll Call Opinion

Article excerpt

There is a time for campaigning and a time for governing. As the 113th Congress prepares to convene, many monumental decisions lie before us - decisions that will affect generations of Americans in a profound way.

Yet, with the mixed results of last week's elections, many are left asking, "Where do we go from here?"

It's a fair question. President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term. The Senate remains in Democratic control and the House in Republican control, with the ratio of Republicans to Democrats barely changed.

For as much as the nation seems fed up with the status quo, it voted to keep its elected government basically the same.

So did the people vote for more gridlock? Do we have a mandate for more of the same?

Of course not. The American people want solutions to the problems our country faces. They may disagree on exactly how to address the issues, but they want them addressed all the same.

If there is a mandate, it is for leaders from both parties to work together to avoid the fiscal cliff in the short term and solve the debt crisis for the long term. In each case, Americans want reasonable, responsible reforms that will help, not hurt, our economy.

Though the views of members of the House and Senate are as divergent as the people we represent, we bear the responsibility to work through our political differences and get things done. That's our job.

Republicans aren't going to abandon our core conservative values, just as I don't expect Democrats to change their stripes either. However, we might not have to in order to achieve results.

There is common ground, and I am eager to work with the administration and the Senate to find it. My colleagues and I are ready to work with men and women of good faith from both parties, but we're not going to play games like the White House and Senate have tried to the past two years. …

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