POSTED: Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 3:20pm
UPDATED: Saturday, November 20, 2010 - 7:13pm
Republicans are outlining their plans, including a repeal of health care reform.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell vowed Thursday to use his party's increased power and numbers to launch an immediate attack on the Democrats' health care reform law and to target President Obama for defeat in 2012.
President Obama said he gets it.
"I think it's clear that the voters sent a message, which is, they want us to focus on the economy and jobs," he said.
Mr. Obama says voters do not want a "re-fight" of old battles, including health care reform.
McConnell said that's exactly where Republicans will focus.
"We will stop the liberal onslaught," McConnell said. "We will make the case for repeal of the health spending bill even as we vote to eliminate its worst parts."
As House Speaker, Republican John Boehner will control the House agenda and committee chairs.
He'll hold votes to repeal what he calls "Obamacare" and to deny funding to implement the law,
despite a sure veto at the White House.
Obama officials will be hauled into tough House hearings about healthcare.
Senate Republicans will attack key provisions, like requiring americans to buy coverage
and forcing businesses to insure employees.
All that and more, admittedly with an eye toward defeating President Obama in 2012.
"To repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things," McConnell said.
The president says he's looking ahead just a few weeks.
"We can't afford two years of just squabbling," the president said.
As the lame-duck Congress takes up taxes, the president is backing off his pre-election demand that taxes on the wealthy go back up.
That is a clear sign that President Obama has been politically weakened, and he knows it.