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Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior United States Senator, was first elected to the Senate in 1986 with an undeniable commitment to Alabama and the simple philosophy that a smaller government can[…]

The recent Massachusetts victory is just the beginning, says Senator Richard Shelby.

Question: What’s the Republican strategy going to be on health care moving forward?

Richard Shelby:  Well first of all, we have advocated a number of things, but our democratic colleagues and friends have not met us half way and I don’t think they intend to meet us half way.  They got the majority in the House and the Senate.  I don’t know what is going to happen with the senate bill that has gone to the House now, but I hope it won’t pass, but maybe now with us having 41 votes instead of 40 that we could come back and work something with the democrats that would be meaningful.  It would be a scaled down version of health reform that we could agree on and I believe that would be in thinking like the majority.  That’s what the majority of the American people think now.  Look at the polls. 

Question: As it rebuilds, how can the Republican Party avoid the waywardness that occurred during the Bush administration?

Richard Shelby:  I think that the Republican Party is beginning to rebuild itself just like the Democratic Party did after the ’94 democratic debacle and this will take a number of years, but you see a lot of life out there.  You saw what happened in New Jersey.  You saw what happened in Virginia.  You saw just what happened in Massachusetts and I think later this year you’ll see a big reaction to a lot of the democratic policies headed by the Obama Administration. 

Recorded on January 22, 2010