As the GOP hopes to retake the House of Representatives in next Tuesday’s election, one senior Republican is promising that his party will refuse to forge consensus with Democrats.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the third-ranking Republican in the House, repeatedly pledged in a recent interview that there would be “no compromise” with the Obama administration if his party wins control of the House.
“Look, there will be no compromise on stopping runaway spending, deficits and debt. There will be no compromise on repealing Obamacare. There will be no compromise on stopping Democrats from growing government and raising taxes,” Pence told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt. “And if I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise.”
In the interview, Pence tried to downplay Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) assurance that there’s “not a chance” Republicans will seek to impeach President Barack Obama — a possibility that has generated enthusiasm among some conservatives.
“Look, the time to go along and get along is over. House Republicans know that,” Pence said, promising to roll back the stimulus and completely repeal the health care law enacted in March.
The remarks are likely a rhetorical sop to the conservative base, which is in no mood to work with Democrats, as even Republicans have admitted they have virtually no hope of reversing Obama’s key initiatives.
Pence’s comments were highlighted by Michael O’Brien of The Hill, who also quoted other Republican lawmakers promising — or struggling to promise — the base that their party is determined to fight the Democrats’ agenda.
GOP Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA), the two senior-most House Republicans, have also pledged that their top priority is to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The maneuvering also reinforces predictions that GOP control of one or both chambers of Congress would exacerbate gridlock in Washington. If Republicans do try to make nice with Democrats, it appears their base will punish them for it.
Even as the GOP plots against him, Obama told the National Journal in a lengthy interview that he is looking forward to “spend[ing] more time building consensus” with his partisan adversaries.
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