Boehner: We need to stop writing bills in the speaker’s office and let members of Congress be legislators again. Too often in the House right now we don’t have legislators; we just have voters. Under Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, 430 out of the 435 members are just here to vote and raise money. That’s it. That’s not right. We were each elected to uphold the Constitution and represent 600,000-odd people in our districts. We need to open this place up, let some air in. We have nothing to fear from letting the House work its will–nothing to fear from the battle of ideas. That starts with the committees. The result will be more scrutiny and better legislation.
The House is the body closest to people. That’s by design. We’re the … the crucible, the testing ground for new ideas and new policies. And the institutions of the House that have grown up over 200 years of trial and error are the best way to test those ideas and policies. We don’t need five members sitting behind a closed door writing a bill, like they did with the “stimulus” or “Obamacare.”
NJ: If you are speaker, will you ever bring a bill to the floor that hasn’t been true to the three-day rule?
In response to the question on how and where to cut spending, I’ve highlighted the following.
Boehner: I also said in my speech in September at AEI that I think we need to look at breaking up all these massive spending bills –- break them into smaller bills that are more conducive to scrutiny and debate. We said in the pledge that we need to set up a process that makes it easier to cut spending. In my mind that means, among other things, if a member has an amendment that would cut spending, it should get a vote. Period.
Think: all-encompassing immigration overhaul vs. sealing the border, path to citizenship, crackdown on employers, etc. as separate efforts. The constituency agrees on large portions of some of these massive proposals, so why not address directly those areas where there is agreement? Progress is made at the margins.
Boehner: I think the current majority has reinforced what I already knew: You can’t run this place, at least not well, by shutting out the American people, shutting out the other party, and even shutting out your own members. You can twist arms and crack heads and cut deals for a while, but it just won’t work in the long term. Let me add, though, that while we obviously have much different views of the world, I have no ill will toward the speaker. She and her staff have been gracious and professional when it comes to our direct dealings. Our differences are significant, but they’re philosophical and operational differences, not personal.
We’ll see how things shake out next Tuesday.
Republicans should realize that if they don’t hold to their principles this time, they will be cast out by the electorate just as quickly as this current Democratic majority, and potentially for a long while going forward. (Note: That ship may have sailed, too, for the more Leftist wing that has co-opted the leadership of the modern day Democratic Party. They’ve proven they can’t be trusted either).