After a shutdown fight that had Republicans in Congress taking sides against one another, the Senate minority whip put out a plea for unity today in the form of a Fox News op-ed.
“In recent weeks, the national media have been obsessed with highlighting divisions and disagreements among Republicans on Capitol Hill. It’s time for GOP lawmakers to remind the American people of what unites us,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote. “Republicans are united in our desire to dismantle President Obama’s health care law and replace it with patient-centered alternatives that reduce costs, expand quality insurance coverage, and improve access to care.”
He rattled off other areas of agreement, including on domestic energy production and entitlement reform.
“In other words, what unites Republicans is far more significant than what divides Republicans. The disagreements of the past month have mostly been about tactics rather than policy. But those disagreements are now behind us,” Cornyn said.
When pressed over the weekend about whether there will be another shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told ABC, “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CBS Sunday, “There will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that.”
Cornyn said “moving forward, if Republicans want to maximize our leverage and achieve conservative policy gains, we must remain united and focus on issues where President Obama and the Democrats are clearly vulnerable.”
He cites the problems with the Obamacare exchange launch as a key example.
“In the months ahead, Republicans should continue making the case for alternative reforms that would expand quality insurance coverage while simultaneously lowering costs and improving patient access,” the senator said, giving a nod to the repeal and replace strategy.
Republicans should also unite on Keystone XL, tax reform and blocking nominations to the D.C. Circuit while “there are plenty of appellate courts that are overburdened and do need more judges.”
“Republicans will always have internal debates, but — more importantly — we share a determination to reverse the destructive policies of the past five years,” Cornyn wrote.”…By remaining united behind common values and common interests, Republicans have a chance to win substantial short-term victories — and set the stage for much bigger victories in the future.”