Republicans rattle sabers on cooperation

Jan. 2, 2011 at 1:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A senior Republican U.S. senator said the GOP was willing to work with President Obama on policies that will reduce government spending and create jobs.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Democratic initiatives such as healthcare reform and the economic stimulus had actually made the recovery more difficult and it was now time to let the Republicans voice their ideas.

"The mandate of the last election was pretty clear to me, that the Democratic policies from 2008 to 2010 were rejected by the American people because they created too much debt and they grew the government too much," said Graham. "So if you want to reduce the size of the government I think you'll find a willing partner in the Republicans."

Graham said the Republican strategy would hinge in large part on the repeal of the Obama healthcare program, which he said was a burden to businesses, and in moving government mortgage programs into more of a private-sector environment.

One of Graham's freshman colleagues, incoming Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he was on board with an effort to roll back regulatory policies as well. "There are regulatory agencies trying to impose on our economy the things that Congress has rejected," said Toomey. "So Congress is going to push back on that. Obviously the president is not going to be too happy."

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