Schweikert: 'We need a functional U.S. Senate'

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U.S. Rep. David Schweikert By Catherine Holland U.S. Rep. David Schweikert By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Just hours after defeating Ben Quayle, U.S. Rep. David Schweikert was looking to the future and making campaign plans for November's general election.

The fight for the Republican nomination for Congressional District 6 was a heated one, with mud-slinging continuing right up until the end.

Both Schweikert and Quayle are freshman congressmen. They were elected in adjacent districts in 2010. Redistricting, however, made Quayle's district more competitive, prompting him to run in CD6 and making for a rare political situation.

GOP heavy hitters John McCain and Jon Kyl threw their support behind Quayle, but it wasn't enough.

Schweikert sat down with 3TV's Javier Soto Wednesday morning to talk about what will happen in the coming days and weeks.

"The next thing is to reach out to those folks who didn't support us and try to earn their support and their votes," he said.

Political pundits favor Schweikert to win the heavily Republican district when he faces Democrat Matt Jette in November.

"Math is reality in politics, and this is one of the highest performing Republican districts in the country," Schweikert said. "We have an obligation not only to run a quality race ..., but also reach out and help some of the other races around the Valley."

Schweikert said he doesn't disagree with the public's low approval rating of Congress, but he placed the blame squarely on the Senate.

"Congress deserves its 10 percent approval rating," he said. "Look at the work product we've done in the House. In the U.S. House, we've done or budgets. We've done dozens and dozens and dozens of pieces of legislation. We have a U.S. Senate the bills get to and disappear. ... The U.S. Senate needs to do some work.

"If you're going to save this republic, if you're going to deal with the realities of our debt, if you're going to create jobs and economic growth, we need a functional U.S. Senate."