Oklahoma's Congressmen React To Changes In Washington DC

Wednesday, November 8th 2006, 10:37 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's incumbent Congressmen had no problem retaining their seats in Tuesday's elections. That wasn't the case for 27 Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives, as Democrats took control for the first time in a dozen years.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler says the winds of change are blowing in Washington DC and two of Oklahoma’s congressmen are already feeling it here at home.

While there's lots of talk about "working together", there are likely troubles ahead. The news was not good for President Bush, who faces an unfamiliar challenge in his final two years. "This is a close election. If you look at it race by race, it was close. The accumulative effect was not too close - it was a thumping."

For the first time in George W Bush's presidency, except for a brief period after the 2000 election, his party no longer controls both houses of Congress and he'll at least be working with new House leadership.

Representative Nancy Pelosi: "we pledge partnerships with the Republicans in Congress and with the president, not partisanship."

"So the big talk today has been we're going to work in a bipartisan fashion. Is that really possible in Washington? I think it is. And you know frankly if Democrats don't govern that way, they're going to get kicked out of office two years from now." 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren says he was shocked to see what he calls, the voter tsunami toward his party. "I don't think they were particularly saying Democrats have all the answers. We want people to work together to solve solutions. Not only for the state, but for our whole country."

"Well it's gonna be difficult to come together. I think we should try. I think that bipartisanship's important but it's probably not going to occur if you want to be honest about it." 1st District Congressman John Sullivan says there will likely be bumps in the road ahead. "Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco has already said she and Charlie Rangle, they want to roll back all the tax relief measures. I think that's bad, that's something we'll disagree upon."

Sullivan also says, while he supports the President, he believes it was a mistake not to send more troops to Iraq, another issue that's sure to cause debate. "The President, I think, has reached out to the Democrats and hopefully we can find a solution. I still don't think we should immediately withdraw, but we should set those benchmarks and start turning it over to the Iraqi people."

Former Lt. Governor Mary Fallin defeated Democrat Dr. David Hunter in Tuesday's election for Congress in the state's 5th District. Also winning were incumbent Republican Congressmen Tom Cole and Frank Lucas.