Rep. Barton: Obama Won’t 'Want to Pick a Fight' With 'Conservative Agenda'

November 3, 2010 - 2:38 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee told CNSNews.com that House Republicans “are going to insist on being bipartisan in the majority but it’s going to be a conservative agenda.” He added that Obama will not “want to pick a fight” with House Republicans if the bills they send to the Senate are supported by 60-70% of the American people.

“People like John Boehner and myself wanted to be bipartisan in the minority. I think he and I both are going to insist on being bipartisan in the majority but it’s going to be a conservative agenda – repeal Obamacare, cut spending, work across party lines, send bills to the Senate and you can get 60 votes and the President can sign those or if he vetoes them, then we’ll work hard to override those vetoes,” Barton told CNSNews.com at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) election results watch event on Tuesday night.

Rep. Joe Barton

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, listens to opening statements as the House Energy and Environment subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations prepared to grill BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday, June 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

“If we end up with say 250 Republicans or 240 and it takes 50 Democrats in the House and say 10 or 11 in the Senate, well it will actually take 15 in the Senate to get to two thirds vote to override the veto and I don’t know that Obama, with his approval rating of 40 something percent, is going to want to pick a fight if the bills that, you know, Speaker Boehner and the republicans are sending to the Senate are supported by 60-70% of the American people. I mean, I would think he would want to work with us and if he does, I know that we’ll work with him.”

CNSNews.com then asked Barton, “If he doesn’t want to pick a fight, do you think it may hurt the Republicans if he takes credit for some of the legislative successes?”

Barton replied, “Well, you know, we reformed welfare when President Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich was speaker and that was bipartisan. It came out of the House. Bill Archer the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee then, led the fight. Ultimately, the President signed the bill and both sides could legitimately take credit. I don’t think Republicans are as interested in the credit as we are interested in doing the right thing and keeping our promises that we really have made across the country in this pledge to America that John Boehner helped put before the American people.”

Barton insisted that the Republicans Party’s goal is not to just say no to President Obama.

“I didn’t run for re-election to say no. John Boehner doesn’t want to be Speaker to say no. Eric Canter doesn’t want to be Majority Leader to say no. We want to help America. We want to put people back to work. We want to create jobs. We want to reduce bureaucracy, cut spending, you know,” he told CNSNews.com.

“This is a great county if we give people the opportunity to help themselves and that to me is what we promised in the pledge to America and it’s what we’re going to deliver when we get the majority in January.” Barton also elaborated on the areas he thinks the GOP will propose spending cuts.

“Again, in our pledge to America, we weren’t specific but we promised to go back to the discretionary domestic spending levels in 2008 – that’s about a 100 billion dollar cut in domestic discretionary. I think you start there and then over time, I think you put everything on the table, of course it has to be decided through the normal legislative process. I think you have to look at entitlements over time,” he told CNSNews.com.

“Certainly, the Defense budget shouldn’t be exempt. We’re in a war right now so you have to be careful about that but if we have an open transparent regular order process, not these huge bills in the middle of the night so that there’s a real a dialogue and everybody feels a part of the process, I think we can come up again, led by Republicans but on a bi-partisan basis, with spending reductions that people will support.”