Cortney O'Brien
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"Why did Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose?” Jonathan Weisman, a congressional reporter for the New York Times, posed this challenging, yet important question to Republican congressmen who took part in this month’s Conservations with Conservatives. Among the election results, the congress members also discussed the fiscal cliff, the lame duck session, immigration and Paul Ryan.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), along with Rep. Raúl Labrador (ID-01), Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) and Rep. Steve King (IA-05), discussed the future of the GOP, as well as a host of policy issues they will face as members of the 113th Congress. The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay moderated the hour-long event, which took place at the Rayburn House Office Building next door to the Capitol.

“We need to do a better job of articulating conservative principles,” said Huelskamp. “Millions of Americans have not heard what we believe in – the value of individual opportunity.”

Rep. Labrador suggested another reason the GOP did not win the White House was its failure to attract certain demographics. “We (Republicans) will never be the majority party if we don't reach out to Hispanics.”

When the conversation switched to the economy, Rep. King issued a stark warning, “It’s not a fiscal cliff, it’s a fiscal waterfall.”

Huelskamp challenged Obama to bring some new economically sound plans to the table, “This is the time, Mr. President, for you to step up to the plate.”

Although they cannot control the steps the president will take next, Labrador insisted he and his fellow congressmen will work hard on their end to avoid an economic crisis. “He has the mandate to talk about it and we have a mandate to fight it.”

The congressman proceeded to explain how they will fight against raising taxes and work to raise revenue through tax reform and regulatory reform.

The congress members cheered up when talking about Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan received a double standing ovation when walking into Congress today, according to King. The other panel representatives commended the Budget Committee Chairman’s efforts on the campaign trail as Mitt Romney’s running mate and his articulate way of explaining the need for economic reform.

“He’s probably our best spokesperson on how serious this fiscal situation is,” said Rep. Jordan.

With Ryan and a new fighting spirit, the conservative members of Congress are ready to begin this congressional term with confidence and a plan to restore American individualism.
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Cortney O'Brien

Cortney O'Brien is a Townhall web editor. Follow her on Twitter @obrienc2.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography