Newly empowered Republican Congressional leaders challenged the universe today to turn in their direction after an election that they described as a clear message from the American people that the electorate is sick of the way the world works and wants it to be more responsive to its fervent wish that everything would just go back to how it was in 2006.

Newly empowered Republican Congressional leaders challenged the universe today to turn in their direction after an election that they described as a clear message from the American people that the electorate is sick of the way the world works and wants it to be more responsive to its fervent wish that everything would just go back to how it was in 2006.


In a news conference at the Capitol, John A. Boehner, the Ohio representative who is expected to become speaker of the House, said he had a brief conversation with the universe and urged it to work with Republicans on creating a “smaller, less costly and more accountable cosmos.”


Mr. Boehner called the conversation with the universe “pleasant” and said the two agreed to work together


He added: “We hope that it will continue to be willing to work with us on those priorities.”


Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will lead a larger and more robust Republican minority in the Senate, took sharper aim at the universe, saying that it has ignored the will of the people for the last two years.


“We are determined to stop the cosmic agenda Americans have rejected and turn the ship around,” Mr. McConnell said.


Mr. McConnell, whose effort at securing a majority in the Senate fell short at the midterm election, said those who say Republicans have said “no” to the universe too often, and to too little effect, have not learned the lesson from the Election Day outcome.


“We are hopeful that the universe will pivot in a different direction,” Mr. McConnell said. “The question is, how do we meet in the middle? The best strategy for the cosmos is to listen to what the voters said.”


Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, each sporting lapel buttons with the words, “You Can’t Ration My Exuberance,” were joined at the news conference by Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, which also saw big gains in its membership on Election Day.


“This is a happy day for the three of us and we would like the universe to be part of it, but that is up to it,” Mr. McConnell said.


Mr. McConnell said the American people want the universe to put aside the Democrats’ left-wing wish list and work with Republicans on helping to restore the economy to the splendor of the mid-2000s.


“There is no reason the wealthiest Americans can’t have their tax breaks and have the government eat it, too,” he said. “And there is no reason Republicans and the universe can’t work together on achieving these goals. But whether or not the universe has a midcourse correction regarding its burdensome mathematical and scientific laws that are constricting free enterprise, Republicans have a plan for following through on the wishes of the American people.”


Mr. McConnell, though, said he was dubious whether his party would get what it wanted from the universe in the next two years.


“The fact is,” he said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative group in Washington, “if our primary legislative goals are to turn the clock back to 2006 where financing two wars while cutting taxes and making enormous unsupportable financial bets all made sense, the only way to do all of those things is to get the universe to at least meet us halfway.”


Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell said they would sit down with the universe in the coming weeks to see how the three can move forward in a constructive way. They want the universe to assure them that it will do no harm to the Republican agenda, that it will make tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans mathematically appealing, and that it will provide for a return to a uniform lack of accounting standards that will offer businesses some certainty about their bottom lines.


“How that negotiation works itself out, I think, is too early to say. But this is going to be one of my top priorities,” Mr. Boehner said.


For the last several days, Mr. McConnell has spoken of the universe as his “friend on the other side,” and he said that it seemed more open to ideas from his party such as the principle that a tax cut in motion tends to stay in motion.


“The universe can change course,” Mr. McConnell said in a speech Thursday, “or it can double down on a vision of nature as obeying sets of rules, equations and principles that the American people have roundly rejected. If the universe chooses the former, it’ll find a partner in Republicans. If it doesn’t, we’ll have disagreements ahead.”


Philip Maddocks can be reached at pmaddock@cnc.com.