Coats Warns Of Distractions As Senate GOP Plans Its Agenda

Nov 11, 2014

Indiana's senior senator says his party should worry less about blasting the president and more about building the party's image ahead of the 2016 elections.
Credit courtesy Dan Coats

U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) says the Republican Party’s capture of the Senate will make all the difference for his party -- if lawmakers handle their new leadership the right way.

Coats says Republicans have been incredibly frustrated the last few years as bills sent from the GOP-controlled House were blocked by a Democratic majority in the Senate, often without debate. 

The Hoosier Senator says the victories won in this month’s election can allow the GOP to advance its alternatives to President Obama’s proposals.

“Now he can always veto those, but then people will know where we stand and where they stand and I think that’ll set the stage for the election in 2016,” Coats says.

Some Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), have proposed investigations into what they see as the president’s abuses of power.

But Coats says the focus should be on issues such as unrest in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, healthcare, and the economy.

“I think we need to put all that ahead of politics and not get distracted by things that will impede our ability to do anything,” he says.

Coats says serving in the majority will factor into his decision whether to run for reelection in two years, but he isn’t ready to make that call.