Congressional briefing: Brownback decision soon on presidential bid
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
(AP) Republican Sen. Brownback Considering 2008 White House Run: Sen. Sam Brownback, who is considering a White House bid in 2008, said Monday the Republican field has room for a "full-scale Ronald Reagan conservative" and pledged to make a final decision next month. The Kansas senator said he was not discouraged from running by the Democrats' strong gains in this month's midterm elections, including majority control of the House and Senate. "It does not make it less likely," he said in an interview. "I really believe that the basic conservative ideas and ideals were not repudiated. Our execution was."
(GOPUSA commentary) Brownback: 'Conservative' Democrats Will Follow Radical Liberal Leaders: Republican Senator Sam Brownback is among those GOP members in Congress expressing concern that, even though a number of the Democrats elected to the House and Senate claim to espouse moderate or conservative values, the radical liberalism of the Democratic leadership will chart the party's direction. Although the November 7 midterm elections brought about several Democrat victories, Brownback insists the vote was by no means a rejection of conservative values by the electorate. He says there are plenty of values voters who remain concerned about protecting life and traditional marriage, but who were simply "overwhelmed" by the issues of Iraq and corruption charges against the Republicans.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(The Hill) Fiscal battle lines drawn: As partisan wrangling over spending priorities dominates the Senate's lame-duck session, the battle lines are forming for next year's Democratic effort to reinstate pay-as-you-go budget rules that Republicans decry as a back-door tax increase. ... New Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a strong supporter of pay-go, blocked floor action last week in a push to secure a vote on his $4.5 billion emergency farm aid package. Six farm-state Republicans, including Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Pat Roberts (Kan.), signed on as cosponsors of Conrad's amendment, but some conservatives were taking notes on the move with an eye to the coming pay-go debate.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R)
(The Hill) Irritating appropriators, GOP punts spending bills to Democrats: The fractured relationship between appropriators on one side and conservatives on the other should play a role in upcoming elections to pick the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC). Some conservative staffers believe Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) has been floated as a leadership-friendly candidate to temper some of the group's outspoken firebrands who have also been mentioned as possibilities for the chairmanship, such as Reps. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).