GOP pushes Obama on bipartisanship
February 1st, 2014
09:50 AM ET
8 months ago

GOP pushes Obama on bipartisanship

Washington (CNN) - Republicans pressed President Barack Obama to find "bipartisan common ground" on initiatives he highlighted in his State of the Union address while faulting the administration for impeding progress on important issues.

In the GOP weekly address, a quartet of Republicans expressed hope that they can find a path forward on policy areas but blamed the White House and Democrats in the Senate for not moving forward on bills where "the House has already acted."


The Republicans - House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan; Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama; Rep. Greg Harper, R-Mississippi; and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana - identified four areas where they believe the two fractured parties can do business: increasing federal research funding, substituting comp time in lieu of overtime pay, consolidating job training programs and fast-tracking permits for natural gas pipelines.

"We can move the ball forward without delay," Upton said.

Harper offered his support for the President's promise to work to funnel federal funds to propel the next series of innovations in medical research. The Mississippi lawmaker said he wants to put children suffering from diseases first and dispense with provisions that allow government money to pay for political party conventions.

"We're talking about everything from cancer, autism and Fragile X Syndrome to the rarest genetic disorders," Harper said. "Creating a lifetime of hope and opportunity for our most vulnerable kids is more important than subsidizing week-long political pep rallies."

Playing off one of President Obama's most oft-repeated reforms on the campaign trail - his vow to enhance community college and trade school programs as viable alternatives to four-year colleges - Brooks praised the administration's thinking but cited the need for ongoing reform in these institutions.

"The SKILLS Act would consolidate the dozens of job training programs on the books and put the focus on programs that work. Programs that actually lead to jobs," she said.

In her portion of the weekly address, Roby emphasized equalizing the playing field for federal employees and private sector workers by giving them the option to choose between comp days and overtime, dismissing the latter as a reel from the "Mad Men" era that has been in place "long before Don Draper's time."

"Government employees already have this option, so why not give private sector workers the same choices," Roby asked.

In his closing, Upton pitched his goal to tighten infrastructure by easing the pipeline application process and doing away with "red tape," but also placed the onus on achieving these reforms squarely on the shoulder of the Oval Office.

"We believe that this can be a year of bipartisan action, a moment when speeches give way to solutions," Upton said. "The American people never let us down, and we cannot let them down either."

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Len: "Please do not complain: In 2010 these folks were elected, why: Only 37% of registered voters voted. Not voting has consequences! 2014 is very important.....Everyone needs to vote or guess what will happen!!!! Vote"

    Yes – it is ESSENTIAL that we all get out and vote on November 4, 2014 and send the repub/tea bags packing.

    VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

    February 1, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    The teaklan way is to do things their way or the highway.
    The president has been trying to be bipartisan since (before) he was sworn in.
    Unfortunately it's impossible to make friends with people who while you were being sworn in and going to inaugural balls our so called politicians on the right who are sworn in to help our country were plotting how to make you a one term president and planning on going against everything and anything you do.
    This is not a lie. They have been seen and heard talking about making the country fail.
    I hope the president uses his executive power to do what is right for the president and the heck with the rethugs and teaklans!

    February 1, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    @Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Its not just a fake dialect with Gunderson. Last weekend he answered one of my posts to him stating, he had lived through three (yes three) world wars, and two sheep shearings. This man clearly has at least a Masters Degree from Texas AM.

    February 1, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    The above proposals are penny anny to unspecific and meaningless relative to major economic and social issues Obama addressed.
    Its the same all the time from the GOP
    Obama is wrong we are right with no real specific legislation in detail. Why oh why does the House have to write its own version of immigration reform? Why not go to conference on the Senate bill and thrash it out compromise by compromise from both sides, and then put it up for a vote in both houses.
    Can we please try a bit of consensus politics not gridlock and both sides playing the I am right you are wrong approach.
    Politics is best compared with sport.... you win a few, you lose a few, and some are boring draws when nothing is achieved either way

    Regards,
    Hodgson

    February 2, 2014 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  5. Name Uche Agonsi

    The Teabaggers/ Repubs might dominate the media and money but the 99% Americans have their votes this year to right things.

    February 2, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  6. vikingwoman

    Well, I guess the pen Is mightier than the sword! The President promises to use his pen to excecutively push through stalled/blocked legislation & suddenly the GOTP is scrambling to 'work' w/him & Dems! Even going so far as to use 'bi-partisanship,' terminology which has, until now, been a dirty word in their vocabulary! I hope this tactic works! Congress truly need to focus on issues other than how to stop equality (gay marriage), or how to forcefully 'govern' a womans uterus! If that doesn't work, there's always We, the People, so Vote 2014 y'all! Rich people may have most of the $$$, but we have Strenght in Numbers, almost as mighty as the Pen!!

    February 2, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. rs

    Republicans simply need to figure out that being the party of regressive social policy, and a hard "do-nothing" reputation really just doesn't jive with anyone's idea of leadership.

    Americans want leaders. They need to get off their collective duffs, and do the work of Americans- not just the 1% mind you, but the people who go to work each and every day for less-than stellar salaries; the people who can't find jobs; the people who are living out lives in grinding poverty.

    No one buys the heartbreak of the millionaires facing slightly higher taxes (they should be a ton higher).

    The GOP has set itself up to be against the wants and needs of the majority of America. Think that will work?

    February 2, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Liz the First

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! republican translation of 'bipartisan': do it exactly our way and we'll still vote no because we have sworn to keep you from doing anything. these clowns are pathetic. when will enough people wake up and stop voting them into office? a vote for repugs is a vote for the country to fail. period!

    February 2, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. J

    How do you know it's the republican's who are to blame when Obama complains that Fox Four News does not allow him to pass policy he likes; when he had dirty campaign against Hillary Clinton and he never compromises with the GOP and abuses his power's as a president such as his address to the nation where he basically says he will use executive orders to pass legislation/veto bills.
    President Obama is not terrible however he not great either.

    February 2, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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