Come January, U.S. Senator John Thune takes over chairmanship of the Commerce Committee. He says he’ll have quite the list of issues to deal with.

“Obviously, the highway bill, the new airport bill, the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, some rail stuff, probably, and then I’d like to say we’d do something in the telecom area, some updates and modernizations,” Thune said. “You know the last telecommunications reform act was 1996 and there was only one mention of the Internet.”

As to the recent election results, he says he’s willing to work with Democrats—and that on many issues, the new Republican-majority Senate will need Democratic votes. But, Thune says, he’s not sure President Barack Obama has gotten the message even yet.

“I think he’s go a lot of pressure from his political base,” Thune said. “The President, in my judgment, I don’t know what his interpretation of the election was, but I don’t think it was most of us thought it was. He’s got a very different view about it”

Thune, who will also remain the third most important Republican leader in the Senate as chair of the Republican Policy Committee, says Democrats will be treated better than Republicans were when they were in the majority. He says new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow Democratic amendments and votes on bills.

Thune made his comments Friday during KSOO-AM’s Viewpoint University call-in program.