A Republican Congress will end gridlock in Washington by getting more bills to President Obama's desk, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in the final Republican weekly address before the midterm elections.
"A new Republican majority wouldn't mean we'd be able to get everything you want from Washington. But it would mean we'd be able to bring the current legislative gridlock to a merciful end," McConnell said Saturday. "Under a new majority, our focus would be on passing legislation that improves the economy, that makes it easier for Americans to find jobs and that helps restore Americans' confidence in their country and their government."
He argued that six years of a Democratic president and Senate hasn't resulted in policies that move the country forward and instead "caused Democrats to abandon trying to fix the economy in order to focus almost exclusively on protecting their control of Congress - seemingly at any cost."
Democrats block even bills that have bipartisan support, McConnell said, in order to protect the president from having to sign or veto legislation that might anger one faction of the Democratic Party.
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"Well, we think it's time for the president to start doing the job he was elected to do," McConnell said. "He should worry less about massaging egos in his party and worry more about healing our country."
McConnell is hoping to replace Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday. Not only will Republicans have to pick up six seats and defend the ones they currently hold, but the minority leader will have to win his own competitive race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.
He told CBS News' Nancy Cordes that he wants to see the president "move to the middle" to work with a GOP Congress on issues like comprehensive tax reform and trade agreements. Other top priorities are a vote on a the Keystone XL pipeline and a repeal of the unpopular medical device tax that was included in Obamacare.
"Reagan and Tip O'Neill found things that they could agree on. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich found things that they could agree on. My first choice is to make some progress for the country," he told Cordes. "And the only way to do that with the president in the office is with his involvement. So that's my first choice."
McConnell said in his weekly address that it's "OK" if Mr. Obama vetoes some of the bills passed by a Republican Congress.
"We believe it's better to let the representatives of the people have their say and vote, even if the president disagrees with the policy. That's far preferable to the Democratic majority's policy of blocking bills from both sides of the aisle and shutting down debate," he said.
Should Republicans win control of the Senate, they will likely have only a one- or two-seat majority. Consequently, the party will have to decide whether it will work with Democrats to move forward with a modest agenda or whether it will heed to its tea party faction and refuse to compromise on issues like tax reform. The direction the party takes could have implications for the 2016 election -- both the presidential and the Senate elections that year.
In his own weekly address, President Obama focused on making a final appeal to women, a key constituency that Democrats need to turn out to vote in the midterms.
"Right now, women make up almost half of our workers. More women are their family's main breadwinner than ever before. So the simple truth is, when women succeed, America succeeds. And we should be choosing policies that benefit women - because that benefits all of us," Mr. Obama said.
In particular, he said women need equal pay for the same work that men do, better paid family leave policies, better treatment for pregnant workers and more affordable child care.
He also criticized Congress for failing to increase the minimum wage. Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have increased the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in April, and it has been a top Democratic talking point all year.
"When most low-wage workers are women but Congress hasn't passed a minimum-wage increase in seven years, it's long past time that women deserve a raise," the president said. "About 28 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. And more than half of those workers are women."