Elections

Kansas’ Brownback: Excited about GOP agenda, but public could be impatient

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to the legislature in Topeka, Kan. Kansas. Jan. 12, 2016
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to the legislature in Topeka, Kan. Kansas. Jan. 12, 2016 AP

Gov. Sam Brownback is excited about the prospect of Republicans taking control of both Congress and the White House – but also has a word of caution.

In Florida this week for the Republican Governors Association conference, the Kansas governor heard Vice President-elect Mike Pence tell the governors in a private meeting how the White House wants to proceed. Brownback called the agenda “an exciting one.”

“There are really some things you can do near term,” Brownback told McClatchy in an interview. Executive orders and actions can be undone. The corporate income tax could come down. Pieces of Obamacare can be repealed and replaced.

But, Brownback, who also served as a congressman and U.S. senator, warned, “There’s high expectations now,” and the public doesn’t have endless patience.

“Our team’s been pretty insistent for a long period of time and you’ve got to get things out there and you’re going to have to move it fast,” he said.

He noted lawmakers can be thwarted by events they can’t control. “You always are,” he said. “You do your best.”

One mistake Republicans must avoid, Brownback said, is taking action that doesn’t get the economy moving. “I thought that’s where (President Barack) Obama made a mistake. He went with Obamacare,” Brownback said.

Obama did push a massive economic stimulus plan quickly that helped revive the ailing economy. Later in his first year, he championed the overhaul of the healthcare system that continues to sharply divide Democrats and Republicans.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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