November 9th, 2010
11:51 AM ET
12 years ago

GOP showcases transition team

Washington (CNN) - The House Republican Transition team is busy crafting reforms to House rules for the next session of Congress and emphasizing that the GOP will get to work quickly on reducing spending and fixing an ailing economy.

But it is also making a deliberate effort to show that GOP House leaders are listening to the new members, specifically those with ties to the Tea Party.

Oregon Republican Greg Walden, who was tapped by GOP leader John Boehner to lead the effort, featured some of the new faces at a Tuesday morning photo op on Capitol Hill. Four incoming freshman are serving on the transition team - Rep-elect Cory Gardner, R-Colorado; Rep-elect Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois; Rep-elect Martha Roby, R-Alabama, and Rep-elect Tim Scott, R-South Carolina. Scott, one of the two African American incoming freshmen, was seated right next to Walden at Tuesday's meeting and other freshmen were close by.

Walden emphasized, "Remember we all stood for election, we were all out in the same atmospherics and environment. But I'll tell you what, we've got some dynamic young leaders that are coming into our conference and you bet we're listening to them, 'cause they're bringing the message that we heard from Americans."

On Monday CNN learned that House GOP leaders are creating a new position at their leadership table for a member of the freshman class, which will be the largest in decades. A source close to South Dakota Rep-elect Kristi Noem says the incoming freshman has expressed interest in the spot. The Republican freshman class is expected to vote on its choice next week.

Roby told reporters Tuesday, "transparency and accountability is the number one focus right now from where we sit."

Asked about the party's effort to bring in more minorities, Scott said, "It's important for us to realize that the best outreach for minorities is to look at the overall construct of America and realize that we all go together. The water is rising, all ships have a better view of the future."

The transition team also met with former Republican Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa who handled the last GOP transition to power in 1994. Walden said one important lesson was to pay attention to the details of the legislative process: "Sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, the small stuff matters. It matters to how this institution operates. It matters to how the public perceives this institution."

The often messy process of passing health care reform was one of the key issues fueling Tea Party anger at the Democratic-led Congress going into the midterm elections.

Despite predictions from political observers that it will be a contentious atmosphere on Capitol Hill next year, Walden struck a bipartisan note, saying he believed one aim of the transition panel was to "treat others like you want to be treated."

He reported that he already met with two House Democrats, Massachusetts Rep Mike Capuano, who led the 2006 transition effort, and retiring Washington Rep Brian Baird.

Referring to House Democrats, Walden said, "They came here with brains. They shouldn't be parked at the door just because they have a different party label."

Walden deferred questions about the decision to add a leadership position for the new freshman class, but noted there would be over 80 new House Republicans who would have an impact. "We want them at the leadership table and
they will be represented effectively and forcefully by the new Member they choose."

Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter @deirdrewalshcnn

Filed under: 2010 • House Republicans
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Ann

    As Fareed Zakaria said las Sunday on CNN, the GOP promised the same things during the Regan administration and did not deliver, then promised the same things after Bill Clinton's mid term and did not deliver. They certainly did not deliver during George Bush's administration. Now they are promising the same things during this past Obama era mid-term and if they do not deliver will the American people finally see tinto "fool" me "three times". As the old addage goes: fool me once and it's your fault, fool me twice and its my fault............what is goiing to happen to the American people as they realize that they are being fooled for the fourth time ?

    November 9, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. wwf

    The politicians and most people say that by extending the tax cuts, people will spend more. True! They will spend more for less. Gas prices are going up, food prices are going up, insurance rates are going up, and wages in most areas are stagnent. Sounds like a plan. Hell of a way to get people to put money into the economy. I guess it is better than raising taxes which would make it worse on the low and middle classes. On top of that with the unemployment what it is, the economy should take right off. The one thing that I have always gotten a kick out of is to see someone sitting in a bar having a drink, and smoking while complaing that they cannot afford to drive to find work or complain about being out of work. It is called "cut back stupid". Inspit of what I stated above, we still need to cut back in our own lives to get through this mess. The other thing is "trickle down economics". Yeah, right. Give the rich more and they will spread the wealth down. You bet. yah. Yah, right. It will happen soon. Takes time. Have not seen too much of that.. We have not seen the worst yet. Cannot wait for 2012 so it can all start over again.

    November 9, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Indy

    I thought they said that the most important issue was jobs !! Repeal and reject and just say no and do nothing for the middle class is all they will do, except of course they will continue to lie and hate everyone that is not in their own playground abding by their rules.The only thing Republicans are going to accomplish is what they set out to do when Cheney/Bush were co Presidents and that is to absolutley destroy middle calss.

    November 9, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. S. Falls

    I have just a few things to say to that:

    You "liberty protectors" made us less safe with your Iraq war (not to mention nearly 5000 troops, $1 Trillion deficit, and 125K Iraqis dead;

    Bled FEMA of funding and hence experienced people until it was worthless (hmm, how did that turn out?);

    Interior Dept's Mineral Management cozied up with the oil industry on oversight and regulation (hmm, how did that turn out?);

    Bush laissez faire approach to financial regulation and oversight (hmm, how did that turn out?);

    Bush White House political appointees rewriting NASA climate change reports to downplay findings (yeah, really. CBS news. google it).

    And where was FOX news on all this? Explaining away, diverting attention, making excuses for, calling people terrorist who don't march lock step with their Party...

    Is there more on your 'screw America' bill of rights?

    And how about your propaganda wing? "Faux News" takes its marching orders from the Republican party. If you don't believe, it, ask yourself if you're 'pumped up' afterwards. Ready to take on those damn liberals that keep trying to help people, make this country more educated, more prosperous. Damn those people. They should let the rest lie in the streets and die. Oh, wait, we still pay for those uninsured through higher premiums on those who are insured. Damn. Wait, what does Obama's health care plan do? Force them to get coverage so we don't have to pay? Hell, I WANT to pay other people's uninsured costs! It's my right!

    I suppose you're against that too. Gee, can I write your manifesto or what?

    November 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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