Republican Congressman Jim Nussle, chairman of the Budget Committee in the U.S. House, says Republicans should focus on doing the job of governing and they’ll ride out the storms of controversy surrounding the White House and congressional leaders.
Nussle says Democrats are “cheerfully” trying to “drive this notion” that Republican leaders in Washington are ethically-challenged. White House officials are under investigation for allegedly outing a covert C-I-A agent, former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is under indictment in Texas and Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist is being investigated on allegations of insider trading for selling stock in his family’s company just before the stock price tumbled. “We do have, obviously, cases in our country where we’re innocent until proven guilty,” Nussle says. “Right now, I think we (Republicans) should go about the business of governing.”
Last month, Nussle called on President Bush and congress to accelerate writing next year’s federal budget to speed up plans for rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. Nussle says he’s always felt good policy makes for good politics. “If you do a good job of governing…if you’re solving problems that people are dealing with,” he says.
Nussle says voters are complaining about high energy costs, the war in Iraq and how more American businesses are shipping jobs overseas. Nussle says Republicans in Congress will focus on those issues between now and the next election. “Republicans do have good answers on those questions and those issues,” Nussle says. “If we go about the business of solving those problems, I believe the voters will say ‘That’s exactly what we expected’ and will reward Republicans with a victory.”
Nussle will not be seeking reelection to congress, though, he’s running for governor in 2006.