November 15th, 2010
07:25 PM ET
3 years ago

House orientation déjà vu

(CNN) – For several members of the incoming House class of 2010, freshmen orientation seems a bit like déjà vu.

Ohio Congressman-elect Steve Chabot was first elected as part of the GOP class of 1994, which helped give Republicans control of the House of Representatives after 40 years as the minority party. He lost his seat two years ago during the wave of Democratic support for President Barack Obama, but was elected again in November – a choice by the voters, Chabot says, that brings a strong message to Washington.

"I think Republicans went off track. We were spending too much money and the American people are giving us a second chance now. I don't think they'll give us a third, so we have to get it right, we need to get the spending under control," Chabot said.

Pennsylvania Republican Mike Fitzpatrick was a freshman when he lost his seat to Democratic Patrick Murphy in 2006 but emerged victorious in a rematch this year. He too echoes the call for fiscal disciple.

"I look back on 2005 and 2006 and wish that we had been more aggressive in controlling government spending and a reduction in government deficit ... That's what I think we've been sent back here to do," he said.

Fitzpatrick and Chabot are joined by three other Republicans who are on their second tour of Capitol Hill: Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, first elected in 1994 and voted out in 2008; Tim Walberg of Michigan, elected in 2006 and defeated in 2008; and Steve Pearce of New Mexico, elected in 2002 and rejected in 2008.

Previous service is an essential distinction for any member of Congress, because with it comes seniority, and that helps get plum committee assignments, bigger staffs and more spacious offices.

"I think I retain that one term seniority, which is important in a freshman class that is approaching 100," Fitzpatrick told CNN. "That's important."

Chabot notes that he and Bass are both "majority makers" two times over. Both first came to Congress in 1994 and have returned as part of the larger class of 2010. He sees a lot of similarities in the two groups, saying, "This is a very conservative, fiscally, prudent, fiscally disciplined group of people."


Filed under: Congress • House
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. GaryB

    Well, time will tell if they are truly fiscally conservative. Rebuplicans have a way of being fiscally conservative when they're in the minority and spending like drunken sailors when they're in the majority. No offense to drunken sailors.

    November 15, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Tsah from Virginia

    Yawn! Lots of Deja vu in Politics!!!

    November 15, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Patrick from Minnesota

    Enjoy your majority while it lasts Republicans...

    November 15, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. carlos

    and he will be sent home again in the next election along with SOOOOO MANYYYYY of them republiCONS, loser.

    November 16, 2010 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  5. TOTAL FACT

    Obama does not have enough gumption to receive a message from anyone. He is on an agenda to destroy America and must be stopped.

    November 16, 2010 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  6. CBR

    The American people voted and the new Congress will begin work in January. Hopefully these Republicans understand what bipartisanship is and will decide to work with the Democrats. It probably is wishful thinking in view of the rhetoric surrounding this election. The Republicans have shown that they have no respect for the Presidency or the person elected by the American people. The amount of money spent on these political races was mind-boggling. No one ever has to identify the contributers and thus money was a powerful force without checks and balances.

    November 16, 2010 01:47 am at 1:47 am |