Republicans won a Senate majority this week, and Sen. Mike Lee already has a plan to fix Congress.
The process will be difficult for Republicans, the freshman Republican from Utah wrote at the Federalist on Thursday, but the new majority needs to “deserve” the “great victory” voters gave it in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
As incoming chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, Lee hopes his five steps will restore “trust, transparency and empowerment” in both Congress and the constituents it serves.
“Contempt for the American people and the democratic process is something Republicans should oppose in principle,” Lee wrote.
Lee also called on his fellow senators to “surrender some of their institutional power” in order to reach a compromise across party lines and “rebuild the internal and external trust necessary to govern.
“We should find common ground that advances our agenda, rather than let the idea of common ground substitute for our agenda,” he wrote about working with Democrats and President Obama.
Republicans also have to find common ground between “conservative principles and the interests and needs of the general public,” according to Lee.
When it comes to the budget — what Lee called the biggest strategic and legislative question for the new Republican Congress — keep it simple, he advised.
Finally, Lee hopes the new Congress follows the lead of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to “think big,” or have each committee “propose at least one major, fundamental, long-term policy overhaul each year.”
“What I propose, then, is an agenda of empowerment – an internal Republican agenda of empowerment to complement our external one. Let Congress operate less like a 19th-century industrial mill, and more like a 21st-century open-source network.”