After what I am sure were a few tense minutes while his fellow members of the House of Representatives rendered judgment, John Boehner was reelected as Speaker of the House earlier this week. Twelve fellow Republicans defected and either voted for another person, voted present, of did not vote at all. Why?
The main reason is that conservatives were repeatedly taken for granted during the 112th Congress and subjected to taking votes that did not adhere to their conservative principles. Speaker Boehner opted against using his majority to pass a conservative agenda to contrast President Obama’s failed liberal ideology. Those conservatives who did not shy away from a fight with the Speaker were summarily punished by having their key committee assignments stripped away in the new Congress.
When Speaker Boehner was swept into power by the Republican tsunami of 2010, he promised that the House of Representatives would resort back to “regular order”. Meaning, the House would use the committee process to conceive legislation, and once passed by committee that legislation would have a full airing on the floor. This was a main talking point used by Speaker Boehner in the early days of the 112th Congress, because former Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrote the much-maligned Obamacare legislation behind closed doors in the 111th Congress.
Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner repeatedly broke the regular order rule over the last two weeks with the disastrous “Plan B” and “Fiscal Cliff Compromise” fallacies. Both pieces of legislation were against the core conservative principle of not raising taxes on the American people. The “Fiscal Cliff Compromise” was even worse because for every $1 in spending cuts $41 is generated in tax increases, according to the CBO's initial scoring of the bill drafted by the Senate. That is not the Republican Party that I know, and this capitulation has led to a key messaging victory for President Obama.
Thankfully, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not give away the entire store when he negotiated the “Fiscal Cliff Compromise” with Vice President Joe Biden. Congress has to act on the debt limit in two months or risk default. It is imperative The House of Representatives take a stand on our nearly $16.5 trillion national debt now. Speaker Boehner must lay down a marker before President Obama’s inauguration address and champion legislation that will cut our debt and make meaningful reforms to entitlement programs. Spell it out and let the American people know why the legislation will save our republic from the financial abyss that we are currently in.
Real changes must be made to make America’s financial footing stable. Democrats do not want to reform their ancient spending programs and Republicans in the House and Senate need to hold their feet to the fire. Benjamin Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Well, our founding fathers are looking down at America right now and they are seeing the republic teetering on the edge because of our enormous amount of debt.
Speaker Boehner would be hailed as a hero if he just listened to the conservatives in his caucus and laid out a plan for the American people right now. Have hearings and have a plan that conservatives and Republicans can rally behind. President Obama does not want to negotiate; he lied at every turn over the last two weeks. He claims that he wants to make responsible cuts when in fact he wants to play class warfare with Americans. The time to act is now, Mr. Speaker; we in the conservative movement want you to lead. If you use the old playbook of trying to ram a bad bill through at the last minute that kicks the can down the road for President Obama once again, then I am sure conservatives will be able to find somebody to replace you. Time is of the essence and real reform should be enacted now. The ball is in your court, Mr. Speaker.