11/09/14 11:05 AM ET
WASHINGTON -- Republicans senators, including those already in office and incoming new members, discussed across morning television shows on Sunday what they would like to see done in the 114th Congress.
The suite of issues senators want addressed include a grab-bag of policies sought by the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent more than $35 million to help elect the new GOP majority.
"I would love to see us do something in the area of tax reform," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think initially at least, coming out of the gate, things on jobs, trade policy, energy policy, energy gives us a very competitive edge, very important to the economy, and that's something that I think the president, I would hope, would sign into law."
Incoming Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace that she hoped the White House could move on the "Keystone pipeline, tax reform, a transportation bill."
Also on Fox, incoming Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) declared that Congress should put a "repeal of the medical device tax" on President Barack Obama's desk.
Gardner also was asked about immigration reform, a priority of both the president's party and the Chamber of Commerce. The newly elected senator from a state with a sizable and growing immigrant population largely dodged the issue by insisting the president "do the right thing."
"I hope the president will decide to do the right thing," Gardner said, at times urging the president not to issue an executive order sidestepping Congress to provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the nation.
"The right thing" was a big theme in Gardner's discussion of what Republicans and the president should do on the difficult issue of immigration. Using the phrase seven times during his Sunday morning interview, the senator-elect never specified what "the right thing" meant in terms of policy.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told "Fox News Sunday" that the president's potential executive order on immigration "would hurt cooperation" in the incoming Congress. Barrasso was also critical of any action taking place in the November and December lame duck session.
"What the president does over the next two months will set the tone for the next two years in Washington," Barrasso said.
One of those actions set to occur in the lame duck is the possible confirmation of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as the country's next attorney general. Barrasso slammed the notion of confirming an attorney general in a lame duck session.
"The attorney general of the United States is a very consequential position," Barrasso said. "We have not had an attorney general confirmation in a lame-duck since 1906. That was in the same party. The last time we did one with a change of party was when James Buchanan was leaving the White House and Abraham Lincoln was coming in."
Thune also said Lynch's nomination should wait until next year. "I think it's in the best interest of the country and Congress to wait and do this next year under regular order."