PHOENIX. U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), predicted Republican gains during next month’s mid-term elections in his keynote speech at the annual American Trucking Assns. (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition here yesterday. Kyl, who as Republican Whip holds the second highest position in Senate Republican leadership, pointed out there are 97 competitive Congressional districts, 90 of which are currently Democratic. According to Kyl, some 59-63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are likely to be picked up by Republicans.
If that happens, he said the “House of Representatives will be able to conduct oversight hearings and a lot of the current ‘regulatory overreach’ will be challenged.”
Kyl also noted that it was less likely that the Senate would also be dominated by Republicans after the election, even though all contested seats are held by Democrats. He predicted the GOP “should pick up about seven seats,” while it would take ten seats to give Republicans a majority in the Senate.
“There is a downside to [these wins],” he said. “You blame the party in control of Congress for everything, so if Republicans get both houses of Congress, Mr. Obama would probably get re-elected.”
When the lame duck session of Congress reconvenes at the end of the year, Kyl said he hoped it would address several key issues, including: reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Bill, a natural gas stimulus package and the pending tax increases (on capital gains, dividends and estates). “My feeling is that the tax code encourages spending,” he said. “What we need is a true ‘pro growth’ tax code. Spending is nice, but investment is better.”
Kyl also criticized the Obama Administration for “picking what to back” rather than letting market forces move the best technologies and solutions forward on their own merits.
He also noted that Congress should pass a Defense Authorization Bill and address ongoing commitments with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals this year. However, Kyl said he did not expect senators and representatives to bring up such controversial measures as immigration reform, “card check” or cap-and-trade before 2011.
The Senator thanked the trucking industry members attending the conference in Phoenix for their contributions to the U.S. economy and standard of living, noting that, “You make money the hard way. You work for it.”