Days before the new Congress is set to begin, incoming Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) are forging their own paths on policy issues.


“Well, first of all, I'm not trying to fill my husband's shoes. They're too big, and I don't think that anybody could fill them,” Dingell said of her husband, John Dingell, who is retiring from the House after 60 years. “I've got my own shoes.”

Comstock and Dingell appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHere's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken Commerce office used racial profiling operating as 'rogue' police force: Senate report Rand Paul introducing measure to repeal public transportation mask mandates MORE (R-Miss.), the newly elected chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), on Sunday.

The three talked about amending healthcare reform, immigration, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Obama administration’s pending trade deal with Asian-Pacific countries.

Comstock echoed many of her Republican colleagues on the weekend’s Sunday talk show circuit, calling for specific changes in ObamaCare, such as a repeal of the medical device tax. She also encouraged a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which failed to pass in the Senate by only one vote in November, and a move on immigration.

“Every poll shows that every member of Congress can tell you that we should focus on jobs first. Then people have said the border security issue is why people don't trust this president,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash. “So, I think that should be the first bill. And I do think immigration should be done piece by piece, and I think border security is very important.”

Wicker, a two-term senator now charged with defending the GOP control of the Senate with the challenge of a tough 2016 electoral map, also said immigration should be a high priority.

The House didn’t attempt comprehensive immigration reform as the Senate did, he said, because Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children MORE (R-Ohio) didn’t trust the Obama administration to enforce the border security components.

“I think the first thing we'll do is a strong border security bill,” Wicker said about the upcoming congressional session. “But I think once we do that, we will have a debate in this term of Congress about what to do with those children who came through no decision of their own and what's the best way to handle that issue.”

Dingell largely defended ObamaCare and noted that changes could be made, but she said she wasn’t yet sure how to vote on the Keystone XL pipeline.

She then took on the issue of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would facilitate trade between the U.S. and almost a dozen countries, including Japan. Some critics have argued that provisions to prevent currency manipulation should be included in the deal.

Dingell, whose district encompasses the headquarters of automakers including Ford and General Motors, said the treaty has “serious problems.”

“The mother of all trade barriers is those that manipulate currency,” she said, mentioning a bipartisan letter from 60 senators and 230 members of the House asking the administration to include strict anti-currency manipulation guidelines in the TPP.