The Senate chambers have turned into a theater for Democratic politicking and gimmicks, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We haven’t passed a budget in three years,” Thune said of the Senate. “It’s become very dysfunctional and, more recently, a place where the presidential campaign has sort of been litigated. We continue to have votes that are about nothing but political messaging.”
He said the Senate floor isn’t functioning because it’s been converted into “something that’s about political gimmicks rather than about solving problems.”
Thune said electing Mitt Romney president and voting in more Republicans will help the United States get back on track, because “we can’t stay on the track that we’re on right now, or we are headed to Europe, and that’s why we need a new president.
“I hope we get an infusion of new people in November who will help us retake the majority of the United States Senate, help us set an agenda that will take us in a different direction for the future of this country and work, I hope, with the Republican president who is intent on solving and fixing problems rather than just running for re-election and using campaign gimmicks to distract people from his economic record,” Thune said.
The congressional to-do list issued by Obama on Saturday is an 11th-hour attempt to rehash old policies and will not fix the U.S. economy, he said.
“Frankly, it’s many of his policies that have gotten us into this ditch, and we need to get out of the ditch, and the way to get out of the ditch isn’t to double down on the things that he’s already done,” Thune said. “Where has he been for the last three and a half years?”
About the crisis at JPMorgan Chase, which last week posted $2 billion in losses because of risky investments in financial derivatives, Thune said Congress should not rush to create more legislation.
“At least, for right now, I think we need to make sure we’ve got all the facts in before we jump to any conclusions about the need for greater and further regulations,” he said. “Dodd-Frank was a sweeping, far-reaching regulation, much of which is still trying to be interpreted by the regulators, and I think we need to give them an opportunity to do that job before we reach any conclusions about moving forward with additional regulations, which could make it more difficult for financial institutions to do their jobs.”
The South Dakota Republican has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate on the Romney ticket. When asked whether he’d take the job, Thune said, “You never rule out opportunities or options when you’re involved in public life.”
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