“We should be focused on the next 24 months and making sure that we correct the direction that this last election provided.”

Joined by 14 New Members, Emmer Charts Course as New Chairman of the NRCC

WASHINGTON, DC – With the 116th Congress now underway, The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast discussion yesterday morning with 14 new Members of the House of Representatives.

The discussion was moderated by U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-6), who serves as the new Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.  Emmer kicked off the event by paying tribute to Ripon’s history as a public policy group, and pointing to a statement that the Society issued at the start of the 88th Congress that, he said, remains relevant to the challenge facing Republicans today.

“Since 1962,” the Minnesota lawmaker stated, “The Ripon Society has promoted the ideas and principles that made America great.  In the weeks following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Ripon’s founding members distributed the first public statement from the organization to Republican leaders as a new session of Congress convened and as the 1964 presidential campaign officially began.

“There is a line from that statement that I’d like to repeat to our newest members that is as applicable now as it was back then.  It reads:

“‘If the Democratic Party, bound to the clichés and fears of past history, is incapable of providing the forward looking leadership this country needs, the Republican Party must. As Republicans, we must prove to the American people that our party — unbeholden to the hostages of a faded past — is a more flexible instrument for the governing of this great nation and for the realization of dignity at home and around the world.’

“Those words were true then,” Emmer continued, “and I think they’re even more true today …We should be focused on the next 24 months and making sure that we correct the direction that this last election provided.  There are some 50 seats that were decided by a point or two. In fact, if you take the gross vote totals from those 50 seats, you’ve got 117 to 120 million people that voted in this midterm.  Would you be surprised to know that you have to flip — I think it’s 80,214 votes across the country — to be in the majority? That’s an average of 5,000 votes in the seats that we need. So this is a very doable thing.

“But it doesn’t happen just because we say it’s going to happen.  It’s not just going to happen because of the Democrats’ overreach. We really have to bear down and work together. We all have to grab the rope. We’re going to need to work 10 times as hard to get the resources now that we are in the minority. Make sure not only that we return these great new members, but that we also win the 19 to 20 seats or more that we’re going to need to retake the majority.

“America is counting on us. Quite frankly, the next generation is counting on us. So without any further delay, I’m honored to welcome our new members — the future leaders of the Republican Conference.”

The new members attending and delivering brief remarks at yesterday’s discussion included: U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12); U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL); U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16); U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-5); U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL); U.S. Rep. John Joyce (PA-13); U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (WV-3); U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14); U.S. Rep. John Rose (TN-6); U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-8); U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (WI-1); U.S. Rep. William Timmons (SC-4); U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins (KS-2); and, U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (TX-6).

To view photos from yesterday’s discussion, please click here.  To view Chairman Emmer’s remarks, please click on the link below:

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.