As we witnessed last week, the results of November's elections have culminated on Capitol Hill.  For several of my colleagues, this is their first time in the minority.  As we adapt to our new circumstances - at least temporarily - I am reminded of my 17 years in the South Carolina State Senate - 16 of which were spent in the minority.  I remember the frustrations and the setbacks.  I also remember successes borne of cooperation.  We passed welfare reform.  We restructured the state government.  We produced results.

While Republicans and Democrats have fundamental philosophical differences, we are united in a desire to protect America and create opportunities for our fellow citizens.  Focusing on these similarities, I believe we can work together for the good of our country.

While pledging to work with Democrats on matters benefiting the American people, Republicans will make our case on the issues.  We will promote fiscal responsibility and oppose tax increases.  We will work to secure our borders and deny amnesty to illegal immigrants.  We will advocate for a strong national defense and perseverance in the Global War on Terrorism. 

This Congress brings new challenges and frustrations for Republicans accustomed to leading the way and setting the legislative landscape.  I believe it will also bring opportunity.  For every Democratic proposal, there will be a Republican counter-proposal.  The merits of each will be discussed in committee and debated on the floor of the House.  We will espouse our principles and defend our values in the public arena.

I believe now more than ever in conservative philosophy, and I am excited about the ideas we will bring to the table for confronting the issues of our day.  Returning to our roots, I am confident Americans will see the clear differences between our parties and Republicans will once again return to the majority in 2008.