For House Republicans, it’s a whole new world.

Not since 2006 have they been in a position to partner with a Republican president and turn their agenda into law. President Trump gives them that opportunity.

That’s why, despite looming differences over key policies and Trump’s nationalist tendencies and populist rhetoric, House Republicans are so excited about Trump’s presidency.

The alternative was four more years of frustration and gridlock under a Democratic White House, battling liberals on the one hand, and a disgruntled political base on the other.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, House Majority Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina discussed the road ahead for his party in Congress.

Can Republicans deliver on big promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and overhaul the tax code, just to name two of their goals? Will House Republicans even see eye to eye on these matters?

McHenry was optimistic that everything would come together, even as he acknowledged the political challenges ahead.

Washington Examiner: What is it like to be on offense dealing with a friendly administration? How has that changed how the House GOP leadership team functions?

McHenry: As opposed to having a blizzard in your face, having wind at your back. That’s a horrible analogy, but, it’s a world of difference from what we’ve lived the last eight years, and first few years of the Obama administration being in the minority in the House is the absolute worst, most painful position to be in. It’s a world of difference to have majorities in the House and the Senate and a president who wants action and wants to lead.

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Washington Examiner: In terms of who is going to take the lead, strong supporters of President Trump want him to influence policy; traditional conservatives are hoping House Republicans will have the upper hand on policy. Who is going to win out?

McHenry: It depends on the issue. Tax reform and healthcare, the two largest pieces of our legislative agenda, we’re in sync. Obviously these things, this is a constant iteration upon the same theme, the same subject matter. But we’re in the same tent, if you will, on healthcare and tax.

Washington Examiner: There seems to be some unknowns. Will Trump really go along with border adjustability rather than tariffs? And on Obamacare, House Republicans have focused on improving access, Trump talks more about full coverage. How can you be sure there will be a meeting of the minds?

McHenry: Because senior White House staff and senior leaders in Congress have detailed conversations on these matters. I’m confident that the president wants the same thing out of tax reform that I do; I’m confident that the president wants the same thing out of healthcare reform as I do. I’m confident on both those issues that the president’s thinking and preponderance of House Republicans believe in the same thing. So, we’re on the same page. Perhaps we’re reading different sentences of the same paragraph.

Washington Examiner: Is there any concern about overreach, as Democrats and President Obama did in 2009 and 2010?

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Conservative groups rallied Monday to support President Trump’s nominee to head the Labor Department, fast food magnate Andy Puzder, with a letter urging the Senate to confirm him as quickly as possible. The letter comes after Puzder’s long-delayed hearing was set for Feb. 7.

“We believe a change of labor policy at the federal level is crucial to encourage job creation and spur economic growth. Andrew Puzder would bring a welcome, fresh perspective to the U.S. Labor Department that our country needs. Over the years, he has warned about the harmful impact of overly burdensome workplace regulation, and his firsthand experience dealing with those burdens should prove invaluable in identifying and targeting regulations that do more

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McHenry: When it comes to tax reform, the danger is that we don’t go far enough. I firmly believe that our policies are good for economic growth, they’re good for families and small businesses, they’re good for the American economy, and so we need to get those policies firmly in place and the American people will reap the benefit, as opposed to the policies of the Obama administration that actually hurt middle class families, hurt small business growth, raised the cost of insurance. And so I actually believe — especially tax reform — we have to go big and bold. When it comes to healthcare, we’ve got to get it right, and that is the main concern of both the president and House Republicans.

Washington Examiner: Do you think the new administration understands how cumbersome the legislative process can be?

McHenry: Every new White House has a learning curve, adapting to the slow pace of Senate action, and so that’s nothing new. There’s nothing new about that.

Washington Examiner: Of course, this president doesn’t come from the world of politics. He’s used to running his company in which he always had the final say.

McHenry: Sure, and that’s why he’s going to demand action and he’s going to push Congress to act faster, and he’s willing to fight for what he wants and what he believes in.

Washington Examiner: Will insurgent Republicans that caused House GOP leaders so many headaches during the Obama years be more cooperative with Trump?

McHenry: We’ll see. Every new Congress is a new adventure.

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