What should the GOP do if they win the Senate?

If Republicans take control of the Senate on Election Day this week, they should "immediately start passing bills," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

Most election models say the Republicans are likely to pick up enough seats to give them the majority in the Senate after Nov. 4. And Paul - who is not up for re-election, but has crisscrossed the country campaigning for his fellow Republicans - has already identified the first issue he believes his party should tackle.

"The number one thing I want to pass in January is there is $2 trillion worth of American profit overseas. I want to invite that and encourage that money to come home to create American jobs," Paul said. "Google, Apple, Caterpillar. All these great companies have money overseas. They could bring it home and stimulate our economy. And we could have a boom like we haven't seen in years."

Paul has also pointed to issues like criminal justice reform where he sees the potential for bipartisan action. And he said that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, will help end the gridlock by allowing Democratic amendments if he becomes the majority leader.

There's some indication that Democrats are already thinking about ways to work with their GOP counterparts if they end up in the minority.

In a separate interview on "Face the Nation," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, said that a group of about 20 Democrats and Republicans, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, have been meeting to talk about ways to "move forward so we stop having people throw sand in the gears of government."

"We have so much opportunity right now. The economy has stabilized. Gas prices at the lowest in four years. 55 months of straight job growth. And we have this opportunity to compete even better on the international stage. And this gives an opportunity we must seize," Klobuchar said. "I see Congress as having to come together no matter what happens in this election. And then I see the president having to work with both sides and having to have Congress actually come to the president with some ideas. And I just haven't seen that as much in the past."

But there will still certainly be disagreement in Washington if the Republicans win. In spite of Klobuchar's expressed desire to work through the gridlock that has plagued Washington, she was clear that there are real policy differences between the two parties.

Klobuchar disagreed with Paul's statement that the GOP has a problem with the perception of its brand - or, as he said a few days ago, that it "sucks."

"This isn't just a brand issue. These are actually major policy differences. When you have most of the candidates from their party are actually supporting budgets that as you know call for tax decreases for the most wealthy when we have a budget problem in this country and actually put more burden on the middle class with things like student loans, I don't think that's a branding issue," Klobuchar said, also pointing to immigration reform and abortion rights as "legitimate policy issues" where there is disagreement.

She added that there should be "more of a focus in how Democrats talk about issues going forward on the economy," praising Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Warner of Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire for doing that.

But Paul maintains the problem is a barrier that has built up over years between the GOP and some voters, like African-Americans.

"I had a meeting with some conservative African-Americans recently. And I said, 'Let's try to get something moving nationally.' And they said, 'Well, yeah. But we may not want to put the word Republican in it,'" he said. "That means essentially our brand is broken."

"I don't think what we stand for is bad. I believe in what the Republican Party values. But we have a wall or a barrier between us and African-American voters," he said.

Paul also said the GOP could do more outreach by removing certain barriers to voting that affect the black community, like removing the voting ban for those who have a previous felony conviction. He said that is "where the real voting problem is," rather than some state policies that require voters to show certain forms of ID before casting a ballot.

"Republicans have to get beyond this perception that they don't want African-Americans to vote. I don't think it's true. I'm not saying it's true. But by being for all of these things, it reinforces a stereotype that we need to break down," he said.

Paul also predicted that Republicans could win all of the closest Senate races across the country on Election Day, leading to a big victory, in part because of unhappiness with the president.

"You could see a wave here at the end. And I think people are sensing this," he said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.