The new year brings a new Congress, and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says it can get more done by forging better relationships between Democrats and Republicans. The last two Congresses ranked among the least productive in modern history, if you’re judging by how many bills were passed. Kirk says part of the problem is the perception that compromise is a sign of weakness in Washington.
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“Right now, the media really doesn’t like you when you get along with others. You’re considered boring,” Kirk said. “They really like a fight between Republicans and Democrats, and they’ve turned the parties into horrible cartoons of each other.”
Kirk feels he can be an “ambassador” between the parties, due to his close relationship with one of the Democrat leaders in the Senate, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
As for what issues the new Congress will address, approving the Keystone oil pipeline and voting on new sanctions for Iran are on the top of the agenda in the Senate. Repealing the Affordable Care Act has also been mentioned as a goal for Republicans, but Kirk says that’s not realistic while President Obama is still in office.