At the general meeting at Kansas Days on January 31, Kansas first district congressman Jerry Moran sought to clarify or recast the impression a news story left in the minds of attendees.
A Wichita Eagle news story headlined Moran: Obama easier to work with than Bush starts with the sentence “The day after filing to run for U.S. Senate, Rep. Jerry Moran told a Wichita audience that President Obama may be easier to work with than President George W. Bush was.” Referring to this story, Moran said these words:
I will tell you that I don’t think that’s the case, despite the headline, although I will tell you that time and time again I thought that Republican leadership and sometimes the White House failed to remember what Republicans were about. All my life growing up, what I knew about Republicans were that we were the party of fiscal responsibility. We were the ones who had the ability to say no, we can’t afford that. Now don’t you wish we had that in the banking world today? For all those loans the banker said “I’m sorry, I can’t make that loan, you can’t afford that house?”
That’s what we need in Congress. That’s what we need in Washington, is someone who has the ability to say no. So when President Bush and Republican leaders proposed that we expand Medicare in ways that, in my opinion, we couldn’t afford, in ways that, in my opinion, were developed to advance the causes of the pharmaceutical companies as compared to seniors in Kansas, we said no.
And when we decided that the number one priority of the Bush Administration was No Child Left Behind, and we wanted to engage the federal government in the classrooms of Kansas, I said no.
So yes, there are times in which when we as Republicans don’t agree. I guess I disagree with our administration, particularly the Secretary of the Treasury, who thought we could afford $700 billion to bailout Wall Street. The problems with that are many. But once you start down that path, how do I, as a Member of Congress, have the moral standing, the wisdom, to decide your business succeeds and your business fails.
When the automobile manufacturers came back asking for money I heard Members of Congress say “But you gave $700 billion to Wall Street. Surely you can afford $34 billion for the automobile manufacturers.” Well, I don’t know if I disagree with that logic, but the fault is we couldn’t afford the $700 billion in the first place.
That’s not how the story is written. But I did say to the folks at an agricultural business meeting in Wichita yesterday that when it comes to our ability to sell Kansas agricultural products to Cuba, the Obama Administration may be easier to work with than the Bush Administration was.
I didn’t intend to have that conversation with you this afternoon, but I will tell you my position in regard to the Obama Administration is one of concern.