U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was scheduled to be sworn in at 4:30 p.m. Monday. He said his first priority is to be an “anti-tax, fiscally conservative” voice in the lame duck session of the 111th Congress.
Kirk’s office put out this video of the Illinois Republican, In addition, Kirk wrote an op-ed piece for the Chicago Tribune saying, “My top priority is turning the economy around.” He goes on to propose some things that are bipartisan and others that will be popular with Republicans.
“How do we get out of this mess? First, we cast aside the partisan differences and work across the aisle to solve this problem. Second, Congress sets an example by ending earmarks and cutting its budget. Third, we build bipartisan majorities for President Barack Obama’s hoped-for line-item veto and the late Sen. Paul Simon’s Balanced Budget Amendment.”
The part about ending earmarks has been among the top GOP talking points in the Senate of late. The Hill did a story citing retiring U.S. Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri as one of the Republicans who might be opposed to the defeat of an omnibus bill that includes nearly $2 billion in earmarks secured by GOP lawmakers.
Kirk is the first of 95 Republicans who will take office within the next 45 days. He takes office early thanks to the Illinois court decision that led to the early dismissal of appointed U.S. Sen. Roland Burris.