October 25th, 2010
02:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Voinovich: Congress must find agreement on key issues

Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - Retiring Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said Monday that the upcoming lame duck session of Congress should work together on a handful of key issues to demonstrate a commitment to problem-solving rather than partisan bickering.

"When the public sees their elected officials fighting, they know for sure that their interests are not being heard or cared about," Voinovich told reporters after a rally for Ohio Republicans on Monday. "The most important thing that we can do, even in the lame duck, is to see whether we can't coalesce around a couple of things."

He suggested that in the lame duck session, the 18-member bipartisan debt commission should endorse recommendations to help repair the country's deep budget deficit. He called on lawmakers to listen to the commission and have "the courage to move forward and do the tough things that need to be done for our country."

The comments by Voinovich, who broke with his party to vote for Obama's small business loan bill in September, contrast with recent promises by some top Republicans to take a harder line against the president.

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, the member of the House Republican leadership and a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said on talk radio last week that there should be "no compromise" with the White House on major issues.

Voinovich, who will retire next year when his second term in the Senate expires, struck a different tone.

"Once we are elected we ought to come together and find out those things we agree on and not concentrate on those things that we disagreeing on," he said. "My position has always been if the president has something that I think is in the best interest of the country, we should come together. It doesn't make any difference whether he gets credit for it or not. The American people want us to work together."

Filed under: 2010 • Congress • George Voinovich • issues • Ohio
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Betty

    "The American people want us to work together." Not all of them, Senator. Tolerance and mutual respect have reached an all-time low in the US. That the handshake is stronger than the fist hasn't been realized by the extremists.

    October 25, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |

    Mr. V.....Your party is too immature for that dirty word......compromise.....so so disgusting, and sad.

    October 25, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Rickster

    And here is the one big thing that Congress should get together to work on: Stopping Obama's Marxist agenda until 2012 when we can all work together again and throw the incompetent Obama out of office.

    October 25, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. annie s

    Great comment, Senator. Too bad not a single one of your Republican colleagues cared enough to work with this Administration to move America forward.

    October 25, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. The Unsub

    just vote!!!

    October 25, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. raiel

    Too bad politicians can't be as great and honest as Voinovich when they're up for re-election!

    October 25, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Whatever

    OMG hell just froze over. There is actually one civil/cooler head on the Republician side. Too bad he is leaving!!! The powers that be in the Republician party wouldn'tt listen to him anyway. Why didn't he speak up earlier?!?!?!! AMAZING! Funny that the Republicians do not want to compromise but if they get control they will have to in order to get the President to sign off on anything they put forth. Repeal healthcare reform – VETOED. Repeal Wall Street reform – VETOED. Extending tax breaks – VETOED. Yep no comprimise!!!!!

    October 25, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Wes B.

    Wow. Nice to see a politician that hasn't completely dug his/her heels into the ground. Too bad he's retiring. Maybe that's the reason he was able to speak out like this. Otherwise he might be shunned by his party and called a RINO for actually trying to act as an adult and WORK WITH the opposing party. What a novel concept.

    October 25, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Tired of the nonsense

    President Obama has tried time and again to get a bi-partisan working atmosphere in Congress, but the GOP refuse to do anything to help the American people. Every day, we see how much the Republicans hate America, her people and the Constitutional ideals our ancestors fought and died for.

    Until the GOP leave Washington, there will never be a bi-partisan anything because the GOP only want to throw temper tantrums and behave like spoiled children.

    October 25, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. a in austin

    This man is so right. Our politicians are not working for WE THE PEOPLE! They have their own agenda. What is so wrong with compromise and working together during these hard times? We as a nation have become so diivided.

    October 25, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    “Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, the member of the House Republican leadership and a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said on talk radio last week that there should be "no compromise" with the White House on major issues.”

    This is EXACTLY why NOthing gets done in the WH!!! Already before the RepubliCAN’Ts have succeeded in taking over the House (and that’s a BIG IF), they’re already NOT GOING TO COMPROMISE with any “MAJOR ISSUES”!!

    What are MAJOR ISSUES??????????????????????????????????????? Jobs, Economy, Health Care, Financial Reform, the Afghan War, Education, Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell, Immigration – each and every one is MAJOR!!!

    PLEASE – ALL who can VOTE in America – WAKE UP and smell the CORRUPTION!!!! Please vote to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD – not backwards – in November 2010!!! Get out and vote!!!

    This is T’SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 25, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. DJ in TX

    Congressman's Pence's response just shows that the GOP is NOT interested in bi-partisanship. It is either thier way or no way. Their way DID NOT work either. Compromise is teh BEST way forward. Going to the extremes in either way is no good. Notice President Bush "rubberstamped" EVERY bill that came across his desk for 6 years. He didnt' use his veto until the Dem's took over. Now Obama is going to do the same (should the GOP talke over both houses which is unlikely). We need, no DEMAND our elected leaders to TRY and WORK together. At least Voinovich has the courage to say it.

    October 25, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. valwayne

    That all sounds very good, but how do you work together with Obama and the Democrats to compromise on their massive corupt spending and debt. Instead of wasting a trillion dollars on something you know won't create a singel job do you agree to support wasting 700 billion or 600 billion. Do you say, ok we'll agree to let you waste half? When the voters expect you to end all the wasteful corrupt spending and solve the debt problem how do you only go halfway?

    October 25, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Yes get to work you lazy deadbeat Republi-cants. Why bother even showing-up to work or voting in Congress? My local Republi-cant Congressman doesn't do a damn thing, misses almost every single vote and is totally useless.

    October 25, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Vote for the best candidates

    "Working together" isn't something the democrats have been capable of. Once the super-majority is out of the way, the chances are much better.

    That said, we need to repeal the terrible policies that have passed (especially Obamacare and his new untouchable committee that was formed in the financial 'reform' bill. Only a kook would agree with the way Obama has trampled the Constitution to get his ideology made into law.

    October 25, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. katiec

    The republicans plans for creating complete gridlock for the next two years are most certainly not beneficial for our country and the American people. Voters, we cannot put politicians in office that do not put our survival over their winning at any cost, their politics as usual and will continue to sell us down the river for their Wall St, big business and the wealthy.
    We cannot allow the republicans to regain control as it will be the beginning of the end of middle class America.

    October 25, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    So where was this man 20 months ago? I have not heard one Republican say yes to anything the Democrats have proposed isince 2009.
    With all the blame being heaped on Demcrats this year, how about the the lack of action on the part fo the Republicans to allow anything to pass? They have been petty and have not looked out for the interest of anyone but themselves.
    Maybe some rethinking needs to be done before next Tuesday

    October 25, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |