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Cornyn Calls For Republican Reset
Updated: Wednesday, October 23 2013, 11:51 AM CDT
Texas' senior senator is calling on his fellow Republicans to hit the reset button.
Sen. John Cornyn published an op-ed today declaring that internal divisions over the "tactics" behind the 16-day partial government shutdown are "behind us."
"Moving forward, if Republicans want to maximize our leverage and achieve conservative policy gains, we must remain united and focus on issues where President Obama and the Democrats are clearly vulnerable," Cornyn writes.
It appears to be an attempt to patch the glaring rifts that emerged between House Republicans, backed by tea party activists, and their more moderate counterparts in the Senate, whose compromise to end the shutdown without significant alterations to President Obama's health care law was supported by big business groups.
The editorial also comes days after Cornyn's junior colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz, showed no signs of slowing his rhetorical assault on fellow senators whom he blames for giving in without winning important concessions from the White House.
"We didn't ultimately win this battle because unfortunately Senate Republicans didn't unite and stand with the House Republicans," Cruz told a gathering of tea party faithful in Houston Monday night. "Well, I suspect there's some Senate Republicans who have gone home to their states and may be hearing from their constituents right now."
Cornyn strikes a more conciliatory tone in his editorial and attempts to refocus his party's energies on a common enemy.
He claims that "Republicans will always have internal debates but -- more importantly -- we share a determination to reverse the destructive policies of the past five years."
Key among those policies is so-called Obamacare, Cornyn says. He slams the administration for the rocky deployment of the federal health care exchange web site, HealthCare.gov. Launched earlier this month, the myriad technical problems plaguing the site remained largely under the radar while the shutdown and budget battle dominated national headlines. Cornyn contends it is a "total disaster."
He also details a laundry list of other core Republican Party issues, including tax reform and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Cornyn claims will create jobs and reduce that nation's dependence on foreign oil.
While GOP leaders including Cornyn dismiss festering intra-party divisions as mere disagreements over tactics, one glaring omission in Cornyn's piece hints at a major strategic rift that haslong term implications for the party's future: In the 895-word editorial, the senior senator from Texas never once mentions immigration reform.
By Caleb Pritchard, KEYE TV News Producer