“When you’re in the minority, your job is to get back into the majority.”

By on March 12, 2019 in Featured News, News

Ferguson and Mitchell Outline Goals of House GOP Whip Operation

WASHINGTON DC – With Democrats trying to craft an agenda as the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast discussion this past Friday morning with two members of the Republican Whip Team, who discussed how they plan to shape the agenda in the GOP’s newfound role as the House minority.

Those leaders were U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-3) and U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI-10). Ferguson serves as Chief Deputy Whip of the Republican Conference, while Mitchell serves as a Deputy Whip. In these positions, they are at the forefront of the effort to keep the Conference united around a set of goals that will not only advance GOP principles, but keep Democrats divided while putting the party in a position to retake control of the chamber next year.

“When you’re in the minority,” Ferguson stated, “your job is to get back into the majority. So every decision we make has an intentional consequence of us trying to achieve that goal, because I for one believe that the principles and the way that we operate as Republicans are what’s best for this country. It is mind boggling to me that we are no longer having a discussion about Republicans and Democrats – we’re having a discussion about America and Socialism and Communism.”

Ferguson was elected to Congress in 2016 after serving as Mayor of West Point, Georgia, and a successful career as a family dentist. He is a member of the Ways & Means Committee, and was appointed Chief Deputy Whip in November of last year.

“What we do on the Whip Team every single day is find a way to split, divide, and then hopefully conquer the ‘socialist’ party so that we can restore what’s right for America,” he declared. “America is great because we have individual freedoms and we have the ability to think and to imagine. That happens only in America. And it’s really remarkable. So when I see everything that the socialists are doing right now, it is about restricting that freedom, and it is about limiting our access to creativity and continuing to advance the American dream.”

Mitchell agreed, and proceeded to outline what he believes can get done in Congress this year.

“One of the things I’m happy about is that I serve on the House Armed Services and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees,” the Michigan lawmaker said. “I say that because we may have – and I stress may – have the ability to gets some things done. I think we’ll get an NDAA done. It’s been done for 58 years – it’s bipartisan. I don’t believe any other committees are really going to get anything done that has any hope of being bipartisan this year. The 2020 election has started – let’s be honest about it. And with that, it’s all political posturing.”

Mitchell was also elected to Congress in 2016. He previously served as CEO of Ross Education, and also led the fight to defeat Proposal 1, which would have been the largest tax increase in the state of Michigan in 50 years. In addition to serving as Deputy Whip, he has also taken a leadership role on the Republican Study Committee – something he touched on in his remarks.

“The other role I’ve taken on is leading the Republican Study Committee Action Team,” he stated, adding that the group “will message on the goals of the Democrats and, more importantly, talk about what we’re for. I think we have to be careful that we don’t just vote no, but also talk about what it is that we see the future being.”

Ferguson concurred.

“I have a real sense of responsibility as a member of the Ways and Means Committee to find ways to work with moderates on the other side to try to get good legislation passed,” he said. “I would much prefer to be engaged in real policy discussions, moving the ball forward, doing policy that really truly helps the country.”

One of those policies, he said, is in the area of trade and making sure American workers are able to compete on a level playing field with other countries around the world.

“Probably the most challenging thing that we’ll do as members of the Whip team is going to be whipping the USMCA,” he stated. “This is a really, really big and really, really important piece of legislation that we’re going to be engaged in. We’re already working very, very hard on it. Every district in the country is going to find something to love about this deal, and every district is going to find something that they don’t like about it. And we’re going to have to work extremely hard with Republicans and Democrats to pull this thing across the line.

Mitchell echoed his colleague’s remarks.

“It’s a big task,” he stated bluntly. “The RSC met with the President for about an hour and a half this week, and part of the discussion was about the USMCA and trying to reinforce that we need to pitch USMCA as a choice – pass USMCA or stay with NAFTA. USMCA is a significant improvement over NAFTA. It may not be perfect in everybody’s eyes, but the key question is whether it is better. And it is.”

To view the remarks of Ferguson and Mitchell before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion this past Friday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

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