“It’s very important that Republicans look forward, and not backward.”

Lucas and Bucshon Discuss the State of the House GOP Conference & the Agenda for the Rest of the Year 

WASHINGTON, DC – With the election of a new House Speaker behind them and a jam-packed schedule facing them in the days and weeks ahead, U.S. Reps. Frank Lucas (OK-03) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08) appeared yesterday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society to discuss the state of the House Republican Conference and the legislative agenda for the remainder of the year.

“This legislative year to me is almost like one giant Farm Bill,” said Lucas, a rancher who was first elected in 1994 and served as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee earlier in his career. “What I mean by that is ultimately, we’ll get the things done that have to be done. I’m impressed that the Senate has passed all of their [appropriations] bills out of committee.  I wish they had started on individual bills on the Floor a little earlier.  But now they seem to be moving their minibuses. So that’s a good sign.

“We’ll ultimately do our work in the House. They’ll do their work. Then the real fun begins when the appropriators have to sort things out amongst each other. But that final product — whether it’s 12 bills or two or three minibuses, or a big bill, whatever the case may be — that final product will reflect the conference committee process that puts it all together. And at that point, it will be the majority of the body that passes the legislation, not the enthusiastic group on one wing of their party or the enthusiastic group on the other wing of their party. It will be the majority of the body that will pass that. So I’m optimistic we’ll get our work done.”

Lucas, who currently serves as Chairman of the House Science Committee and serves as Co-Chair of The Ripon Society’s Honorary Congressional Advisory Board, also addressed the elephant in the room – with government funding set to expire on November 17th, will Congress have to pass a Continuing Resolution?

“I think it’s almost impossible not to get our work done without doing a CR,” he said matter-of-factly. “Will we do it any quicker than midnight on November 17th?  Probably not.  But are you really surprised? That’s just the nature of the beast. That said, I’ve been around long enough — my first Speaker was a Democrat by the name of Tom Foley.  I have observed all the battles back and forth.  And I’ve observed attempted coups in the past. I have not been a participant of anarchy, but I’ve observed all of it up close.  And I think that the process — the gyrations — we’ve just gone through probably have given us the strongest possible Speaker that we could have at this moment in time.

“I’m an enthusiastic Johnson supporter now. We’ll see how that evolves over the rest of this year and into next year. We only have a two-year contract, which means we have 13 months in this majority to demonstrate we need a renewal. I believe we can do that if my friends will play as a team.”

Bucshon echoed his colleague’s remarks.

“I agree with everything that Congressman Lucas just said,” he stated.  “I’m optimistic. I always look back to historical leaders, and one of my favorites is Winston Churchill.  Churchill said that Americans will ultimately do the right thing after they’ve exhausted every other possibility.  I think that that’s the way Congress works.”

“And I agree with Frank — I think Mike Johnson’s going to be outstanding. He has done a good job as the Vice Chair of our Conference. And I’m optimistic going forward that we’re going to be in good shape.  If you look at what House Republicans have already done this year, we’ve done H.R. 1, one of the biggest, pro-American energy, bills that we’ve ever passed, H.R. 2, to address the southern border, and a plethora of other pieces of legislation, some of which are ultimately going to end up as law.”

Bucshon was elected to Congress in 2010.  A doctor who spent 15 years in private practice before entering public life, he is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, where he serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Health.  He also serves as Co-Chair of The Ripon Society’s Honorary Congressional Advisory Board.

He concluded his remarks by talking about the months ahead and making reference to the election next year.

“I think it’s very important that Republicans look forward, and not backward,” the Hoosier State lawmaker stated. “We have a lot of people out there, both in the Congress and as presidential candidates, who want to look backwards. I think if we do that, we’re going to get beat. We need to show the American people what we can do and what we will do on their behalf. And if we do that, I think things will be fine.”

To view the remarks of Chairman Lucas and Congressman Bucshon before The Ripon Society yesterday morning, please click 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.