U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran would like to help recruit candidates to run for the Senate two years from now, he says.
But what strategies he or other Republicans might pursue when it comes to the next congressional election, he said, aren’t yet clear.
“I think we all need to sit down and have a conversation, try to figure out what this election has meant,” Moran said Friday. “What was the story behind the election?”
Moran spoke with the Journal-World briefly Friday before his appearance at a U.S. Marine Corps birthday celebration at the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University.
The Capitol Hill publication Roll Call reported this week that Moran is interested in leading the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which aims to help the election of Republicans to the Senate, during the next two-year election cycle.
Moran said Friday that he would indeed like to help find Senate candidates for 2014, though that doesn’t mean he’s not focused on working with the current class of elected officials to solve problems.
“Two years from now, if we don’t like what we’ve seen in the last two years, then we go back to work to try to change the nature of who represents us in Washington, D.C.,” Moran said. “And so I’ve expressed an interest in trying to help recruit and elect individuals who would be good members of the United States Senate for the good of the country.”
At this time, he said, it’s unclear exactly what lessons can be drawn from this year’s elections, which left the presidency and the Senate in control of Democrats and the House in control of Republicans.
“The development to me that’s interesting is that, while many people were complaining about the way that Washington, D.C., didn’t work, we really have the same makeup of the House, Senate and the same president after the election,” Moran said.
But, he said, that development likely means that the issue of creating and protecting jobs should remain front and center, as it was following the 2010 elections.
In the near future, he said, it would be important for the two parties to immediately work together in spite of the divided government to avert the impending “fiscal cliff”: the January deadline after which tax increases and spending cuts will kick into effect if nothing is changed.
He said the president has the most ability to overcome gridlock and help leaders work together.
“I hope that President Obama, now that the election is over, is interested and willing to do that,” Moran said. “It also means that Republicans in the House and Senate need to be open to that effort.”
Moran said he would push for Congress, during the so-called “lame-duck” period before the end of its session, to come up with a permanent tax-code solution rather than a temporary one meant to just stave off crisis.
“Let’s stay at it, hold our feet to the fire and actually get something done,” Moran said.