Opinion: A Republican majority


Ray Paoletta is a junior political science major and a columnist for The Kent State. Contact him at [email protected].

Ray Paoletta

On Nov. 4, the Republican party won enough seats in the U.S. Senate to hold a majority in both houses of Congress. Victories were big for the GOP with senate contests in Georgia, Kentucky and Kansas with much wider margins than expected. The GOP also won every toss-up contest, except New Hampshire. Theses key victories included pickups in North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas and Iowa. All races were expected to be much closer than they were in the end. Although this is a huge victory for the GOP, it does not mean that Republicans can push through the most conservative pieces of legislation without compromise. President Obama must still sign any bill that Congress passes.

Americans are tired of partisanship and want Washington to get things done. The new Republican-held Congress must work with the other side of the aisle, even if this means compromise, to get Washington working. Issues such as immigration reform, the federal budget, healthcare and energy policy, including the keystone pipeline and tax code reform, should be top issues for both parties to find common ground. In the past, bipartisan efforts and compromises regarding immigration and energy efficiency have stalled — now is the time to bring those discussions back to life. 

Congresses of the past four years have been dubbed “do nothing” and the American people are fed up. Citizens want bipartisan solutions to the issues the country faces. Mitch McConnell and President Obama appear to be ready to put partisanship behind and get Washington to work. In Kentucky, Senator and presumed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.”

President Obama seems to agree, as one of his first actions after the election was to hold a meeting between leaders from both parties. Now is not the time for ultra conservatives to flex muscles they don’t have. The Affordable Care Act will not be repealed and not be defunded because the GOP controls the senate — sorry Ted Cruz. On the other hand, now is not the time for ultra liberal representatives and senators to put their beliefs ahead of the reality in Washington. It is time to move on from the gridlock that plagues Washington today.

Now is the time for the GOP to build the image of the party in Washington that works across party lines: the party that gets things done, the party that works and gets the American people to work. Many Republicans, like myself, have worked far too hard the past few months to get Republicans elected, so the new senate majority must be smart and govern wisely. They must compromise and they must work with Democrats. That is what the majority of Americans want. It is time to put an end to the partisan bickering in Washington.

 Contact Ray Paoletta at [email protected].