Republican control of the House and Senate seems tantalizingly close, so leading Republicans are turning to a matter often overlooked in campaigns: how to actually govern.
They say it will be crucial to show the GOP can legislate, lead and solve problems after years of lobbing political grenades at President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.
If they add Senate control to their House dominance, Republicans say they will pass some bills that Obama is sure to veto, as they try to highlight their ideological differences with Democrats. But they also will push for changes in taxes, trade, regulations and other policies that both parties might accept.
“We have to prove in two years the Republican Congress can govern,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Republicans know their new majority might last only two years – assuming, that is, they first obtain it this fall by picking up at least six net seats, as many predict they will. The 2016 Senate election map is far more favorable to Democrats. The contest to replace the term-limited president will add further distractions and uncertainty.