Talking to SD's Congressional Reps

By Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011  |  Updated 10:06 PM PDT
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Talking to SD's Congressional Reps

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Talking to SD's Congressional Reps

How do they see things unfolding in the 112th Congress, sworn in Wednesday?
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San Diego County's congressional delegation generally reflects the political makeup of the new House of Representatives: three Republicans and two Democrats.

  How do they see things unfolding in the 112th Congress, sworn into office on Wednesday?
 
Rep. Brian Bilbray, (R) 50th District, said the biggest difference from the 111th Congress is that Democrats no longer can lock Republicans out of the lawmaking process and that, now, GOP legislators are in the room and at the head of the table.
 
"The liberal members of Congress who have had their way for the last two years have just got to learn that the system's designed for the ebb-and-flow of the political tide," Bilbray said Wednesday in an a telephone interview from the Capitol. "[Democrats] have got to listen to their conservative constituency as much as they do their liberal [constituency] if the system's going to work.... Both parties have to accept that they've got to be talking to each other if they're going to do anything."
 
Democrats, meantime, are wary of GOP vows to find common ground while undertaking efforts to repeal health-care reform legislation.
 
"I mean, we know there was a calculation not to help the president during his first two years," said Rep. Susan Davis, (D) 53rd District. "I hope that changes. I think that when you're in control, you've got to deliver.... We're going to be looking for Republicans to actually 'walk the talk' of working together."
 
New congressional rules of doing business, approved Wednesday, could have quite an impact on the legislative process.
 
"Committees are going to have a bigger role in this Congress," said Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, (R) 52nd District. "Bills are going to start from the bottom up, from the committee, and go to the House floor -- as opposed to the leadership, the speaker ... saying, 'Here's what we're going to do. We're going to get this passed."
 
The other members of San Diego County's congressional delegation -- Rep. Bob Filner, (D) 51st District; and Rep. Darrell Issa, (R) 49th District -- could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
 
Issa, the ranking majority member and now the chairman of the House Government Oversight & Reform Committee, has an ambitious list of investigations targeting Obama administration operations.

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