Just days after their historic midterm victories, the Republican congressional leadership is sending out signals to the caucus that infighting and gridlock will not be tolerated.
According to Politico
, incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested he will not go along with conservative calls to use the debt ceiling as leverage for spending cuts, an insistence by tea party members which triggered the government shutdown last year.
"Emboldened by sweeping midterm election victories, Republican leaders are vowing not to repeat the errors of past years, when messy fiscal fights eroded public confidence in Washington and became the hallmark of the GOP-controlled House," Politico said.
McConnell has already vowed
that there will not be a government shutdown on his watch.
And in his victory speech Tuesday night, he made it clear he would also be extending the olive branch to President Barack Obama, saying the GOP has a "duty"
to work with the White House on issues they agree on.
"I'm pretty familiar with our conference including the new members who are coming in," McConnell said, according to Politico. "The vast majority of them don't feel they were sent to Washington to fight all the time."
House Speaker John Boehner is telling colleagues he plans to be a "responsible leader," and that the party needs to be unified to take advantage of its political dominance, Politico reported.
The leadership may also feel more justified in demanding loyalty from the conservative wing of the party, given that the victories from this election cycle were mainly the result of the party's early backing of establishment candidates, some of whom are from moderate districts.
"What this election did is give us a working majority where we have at least 218 votes to pass a Republican agenda, and what I think will be a responsible Republican agenda," Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Stivers, a close ally of Boehner, told Politico. "We're not veering hard right, we're playing it straight down the fairway, to use a Boehner-ism."
Boehner and McConnell have already set out their legislative agenda
, saying in a joint editorial that their top priority is to help the struggling middle class, and a first step will be passing many of the bills the House has already approved.
"Enacting such measures early in the new session will signal that the logjam in Washington has been broken, and help to establish a foundation of certainty and stability that both parties can build upon," they wrote.
The leadership will also be aware that unity could be paramount to maintaining the Senate majority in 2016, when a number of senators from blue and purple states are up for re-election, Politico reported.
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