(WASHINGTON) -- Don’t take the flurry of legislative activity just before Christmas as a sign of improving bipartisanship in Congress, former Rep. Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia said on ABC’s Top Line Monday.
Instead, it was the final effort of a Democratically controlled Congress.
“It was a last gasp. They’re running up to the finish line. The Democrats still control the House. If Republicans controlled the House this would not have happened,” Davis said.
“They were running out the clock, getting done what they could get done. And I think some of the Republicans feel a little burned now because the president’s taken a victory lap and they’re having to go back to the their base being told what are you doing, and the old partisan juices get flowing into January. So I don’t know how long lasting this will be.”
Davis, who left Congress in 2008, declining to seek an eighth term, is now a leader among the “No Labels” movement that is attempting to create a national non-partisan movement.
Will the deep partisan divide in Congress next year be focused on a battle over repealing the health care bill? Davis thinks it will be a major topic. But he thinks what remains to be seen is how much the White House wants another year of fighting over health care just before the 2012 election.
“The big thing is where is the economy going to be in the next year? And I think that’s why (President Obama) cut the deal on taxes. And second, what is the situation on the ground in Afghanistan? Those are the big things that can hurt his reelection chances.”
As a keen political observer, David couldn’t leave the Top Line set without gaming out politics in his own state of Virginia, where he notes the Republican party has changed.
“It’s clearly moved right. It’s been rejuvenated by the Tea Party,” he said. “Moderates have fled the party. They’ve become Independents. It’s effected both parties, moved both parties further right and left.”
Gaming out the recent statements from his fellow Virginian, former Senator George Allen, Davis said he expects to see Allen mount a campaign soon.
“I think he wants to run, I talked to him a few months ago and I think he misses the action. He liked being senator, he said he would have liked being governor, but I think he misses it and wants to get back in the fray.
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