Jackie Gingrich Cushman

So this month, while in recess, Congress has an opportunity to regroup and get ready for a new year.

Legislators return in September, and while they can't create a new first impression, they can outline a fresh start, and convey an aura of optimism and possibility.

The House Republicans have a great opportunity, but they must not overplay their hand. Their focus should be on working for the American people, making progress, taking action. While the hot topics will be the budget, debt ceiling and immigration, the overall focus should be on how to make Washington work for everyday Americans. The focus has to be tied back to a vision -- a vision of a brighter future, one in which all Americans can participate.

It's not enough to oppose the president and his agenda. House Republicans should cheerfully and relentlessly promote a positive vision for the future, outlining how the House Republicans can help get us there. The vision needs to be grand enough to incorporate smaller legislative conflicts into a larger understanding of where we can go -- when we work together.

In the end, the American people want a government that works for them, that gets things done and projects an aura of possibility and potential. Let's hope it passes the test.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.