Ellison: Democrats 'stand ready' to work with Republicans

Republicans calling for unity with Democrats
Republicans calling for unity with Democrats

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  • "If the Republicans have suddenly realized they have to work with us, I think that's a good thing," Ellison said
  • Lawmakers ready to work together on issues including drug prices, infrastructure and tax reform, he said

Washington (CNN)Democratic lawmakers "stand ready" to work with their Republican counterparts following the failure of GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, Rep. Keith Ellison said Monday.

Speaking on CNN's "New Day" with Chris Cuomo, the Minnesota Democrat and deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee said he and his party are prepared to collaborate with Republicans on issues like drug prices, infrastructure and tax reform.
"If the Republicans have suddenly realized they have to work with us, I think that's a good thing," Ellison said.
    With Obamacare still in place, one potential area of collaboration is lowering drug prices, Ellison said.
    "I don't think we fold our arms and gloat. I think we step forward and say, 'There are people who cannot afford their medicine right now. What can we do together about it?'" Ellison said.
    Another issue where Democrats see potential cooperation is infrastructure improvements, Ellison said.
    Pointing to water contamination in Flint, Michigan, Ellison underscored the need to "rebuild America" -- a cause he said Democrats would not compromise on.
    "We're not going to go for just anything -- it's got to be meaningful," Ellison said. "If it's a real investment, Eisenhower-style, in our nation's infrastructure, that is something we would love to talk about."
    Democrats are also aiming to collaborate on tax reform, Ellison said.
    "There are a number of things we can do to try to work together on tax reform, now that that's a conversation that we've started," Ellison said.