“Jerry, you need to understand that we’re not going to do anything until after the election.”

Senator Moran Discusses His New Role as NRSC Chairman and the Conversation that Led Him to Seek the Job

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (KS) appeared before a luncheon meeting of The Ripon Society this past Thursday afternoon, delivering a speech in which he discussed not only his new role as the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but a conversation he had with the Senate Majority Leader that led him to seek the job. 

“I was standing on the Senate floor and I was approached by Senator Reid,” Moran stated. “I knew Senator Reid from my days in the House. Senator Reid had a locker just a few down from me in the House gym, and we’d see each other each morning for a long number of years. And Senator Reid that day, in a casual conversation, asked me, ‘Jerry, how do you like the Senate?’ My response was that I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given. But Leader, we’re not doing anything. Senator Reid’s response was, ‘Jerry, you need to understand that we’re not going to do anything until after the election.’ 

“When you get elected to public office, to be told at that stage — almost two years before the next election — that nothing was going to be done, was an eye-opening experience to me and was very troublesome. I don’t expect to win every issue. But I do expect what we now call regular order — the opportunity to debate and discuss and have committees function, to have hearings offered and an opportunity to hear the amendments on the floor when we try to fashion legislation.” 

“And so my interest in serving in the NRSC capacity really revolves around a desire to see the Senate function, to have regular order, to have the opportunity for Americans see their Senators have a debate, to have votes occur and to have the country see the Senate move in the direction it ought to go.” 

Moran, who was unanimously elected by his colleagues to the NRSC post last November, is serving his first term in the Senate after six terms in the U.S. House. In his speech, he also shared his thoughts on the political environment on Capitol Hill and current debate over the sequester. 

“I happen to believe that Republicans have a better vision for the future of our country,” the Kansas lawmaker stated. “I share the principles that were outlined in your founding document, and I believe that there is great potential for things to happen in this country; that great things can happen if we have a citizenry that is engaged, and a Congress that responds, and a President who will lead. I’m fearful that we have a President who doesn’t lead, and a Congress which, because of the political implications of casting a vote, is not going to do anything until after the next election.” 

When asked for his thoughts after his speech about the sequester and, specifically, the President’s repeated claim that he has put forward a plan to deal with the situation and help reduce the national debt, Moran was blunt: 

“I have no knowledge of such a document,” he stated. “I had this conversation with OMB in the Appropriations Committee a week or so ago. The OMB was talking about entitlement reform, and that the President had a detailed $4 trillion plan. My question to OMB was whether I could please see that plan in writing. The response was that the President had negotiated with Congress and outlined his $4 trillion plan. I represent 2.5 million people. I’ve never seen the President say anything of substance on this issue and provide any details. A campaign speech cannot be scored. One of the greatest complaints I have about President Obama is his unwillingness to engage on this issue. 

“And this in my view is what’s wrong with President Obama. He is above the fray… There’s no relationship with Members of Congress. If you could have an honest discussion with a Democrat Member of Congress, I have no doubt they will tell you the same thing. Let me put it this way — if you’re sitting down across the table from somebody trying to resolve something, it’s much more likely that you’re going to have a resolution if you know the person, if you know where they’re coming from, and if you reach a level of trust. And this President has never engaged.

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.