Indiana's next Republican senator, Todd Young, said on Wednesday that Congress needs to provide a strong check on the executive power wielded by the president.
Asked about Congress' future relationship with President-elect Donald Trump, Young said lawmakers need to "reassert" their constitutional authority and "stop delegating so many powers" to the executive branch.
"It's just our constitutional duty to keep the executive branch in check," Young said.
Young, a Republican congressman who defeated Democrat Evan Bayh on Tuesday, made the remarks hours after Trump clinched the presidency. During the primary last spring, the southern Indiana congressman said he would support whoever became the Republican nominee for president, but he has since kept Trump at arms-length. He opted to stay at home and campaign in July when Trump was formally nominated at the Republican convention in Cleveland.
During his campaign against Bayh, Young repeatedly called on Congress to keep whoever was elected president in check. He has called for legislation that would require Congress to approve any major regulation approved by the executive branch.
The conservative also suggested that the results of Tuesday's election show voters want something drastically different than the status quo.
"Sweeping economic changes" have left "people whose families used to be in securely in the middle class feeling anxious," he said. He later added: "It typically takes bipartisan work to build enough consensus to get things through our legislative process."
Young, 44, is an ex-Marine, Naval Academy graduate and was an aide to former Sen. Richard Lugar. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Indiana University. He was an attorney living in Bloomington when he narrowly won a four-way Republican primary and then defeated Democratic Rep. Baron Hill in 2010, riding the Tea Party wave into Congress.
He has since taken up the bipartisan mantle Bayh cultivated over his two terms as Indiana's governor and 12 years in the Senate.
Bayh was the Democrats' prized recruit and hoped to help his party retake control of the Senate when he unexpectedly entered the race in July. But he faced a barrage of withering attack ads from Young and his allies that questioned Bayh's residency in Indiana, his ethics and his lucrative business dealings since leaving the Senate six years ago.
"It sounds outright bland, but people here in Indiana want conscientious public servants who have deep convictions, but are prepared to work across the aisle when possible," Young said in an interview after he was declared the winner Tuesday night.
While Young often says he wasn't raised in a political family, his wife Jenny is a niece of former Republican Vice President Dan Quayle, who rose to prominence by defeating Bayh's father in Indiana's 1980 Senate race
Young said many wrote him off after Evan Bayh entered the race, which was one of a half-dozen around the country that Democrats targeted to make gains in the U.S. Senate.
"I'm a competitive person. I like to overcome great challenges," he said. "People stepped up during what could have been an insurmountable situation in the minds of many people."