By electing divided government, the American people have shown they want a centrist government, and the new Republican-led Senate will be right-of-center, incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
McConnell vowed to work with President Barack Obama on issues both parties can agree on, but still promised to put some things on the president's desk he isn't likely to sign.
Jobs and the economy will be top priorities, McConnell said, with approval of the Keystone XL pipeline a major agenda item. He also wants to cut what he describes as over-regulation on industries such as coal mining in his home state of Kentucky.
Excessive government regulation is the reason there hasn't been a significant bounce back after the 2008 recession, he said.
McConnell also vowed to attack Obamacare, even if it has to be done piecemeal to reverse parts of it, such as the medical device tax, the individual mandate and rules that have destroyed the 40-hour work week.
"All of these are highly unpopular with the American people, and we'll be voting on things I know he's not going to like," McConnell told CNN. "I hope we can put them on his desk."
Now that both houses of Congress will be in Republican hands, Obama will need to compromise, he said.
"Now he needs to talk to us. And that's good, because when the American people elect divided government they're not saying they don't want anything done," McConnell said. "What they are saying is they want things done in the political center, things that both sides can agree on."
That said, Republicans have only 54 members in the new Senate, six short of the super-majority needed to pass legislation. So they'll need Democrat senators and Obama to pass their agenda.
Both he and Obama came up short in their political goals, McConnell admitted.
"I had hoped to make him a one-term president, and he had hoped to defeat me last fall," he said. That, he added, means that the American people are saying they want both of them to still be there and look for things they can agree on.
He hopes the new GOP Senate presents a "conservative right-of-center governing majority," he said, composed of "serious people elected in serious times to try to get results."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.