The Associated Press contributed to this report
Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky says government gridlock isn't necessarily a bad thing, signaling that cooperation with Democrats isn't high on his agenda.
The tea party favorite said debate is healthy and that a divided government is more likely to spend less money.
"People complain a lot about gridlock," Paul said on NBC's "Today Show," But whenever you analyze government - state government or federal government - it seems like the most fiscally conservative government is always divided government."
Paul called for a law or constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
"People are just happy with the fact that we have to balance our individual personal budgets, but the government doesn't have to balance theirs," he said. "The Democrats have proven themselves untrustworthy on this account. There needs to be a rule that you have to balance the budget by law."
Still, Paul said that the success of Tea Party candidates Tuesday was "equal parts chastisement to both parties over not doing enough about the deficit."
He specifically mentioned the problem of earmarks, which Republican Sen. Jim Demint (S.C.) promised to ban in an appearance on CBS' "The Early Show Wednesday.
Rand Paul on "The Today Show":
Jim DeMint on "The Early Show":