As McCarthy Stumbles, Conservative Movement Lays Out Demands From New Post-Boehner GOP Leadership

Some 55 conservative leaders throughout the United States are calling on Republican leaders in Congress to live up to their responsibility to align their party’s platform with the Constitution.

They’ve signed an open letter, titled “Vision For New Conservative Leadership,” outlining the principles of America’s founding and the will of the American people.

The letter states:

Congressional leaders represent more than merely the internal majority of their respective chambers. They become national leaders of the entire Republican Party and, when in the majority, the citizens of every state. This is the essence of self-government.

Failed leadership has profound consequences on our culture, our children, our prosperity, our security and consequently, spreads defeatism.

A recent Gallup poll shows half the nation, Democrats and Republicans, believes the federal government poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. There is bipartisan agreement that the government we now have has failed.

The overwhelming majority of Republicans now believe congressional leaders care more about special interests than the country’s interest, causing the disaffection of millions of citizens. The Republican Party has become an empty vessel, instead of broadening the Party’s appeal through demonstrated contrast with liberal policies and a robust defense of American exceptionalism. Conservatives expect party leaders to place the nation’s interests before their own re-election, especially at this time in our nation’s history.

We call for statesmen with the humility and capacity to act in the best interests of those who understand what is at stake in our times, and to govern with truth, principles and selflessness. We do not need to elevate career politicians who protect their power with political gamesmanship, show votes, self-interest and ineffective oversight.

Republicans, squandering their landslide 2014 victory, have failed to use their powers to stop the big-government, big-business agenda dominating Washington backrooms. They failed to listen to us, calling many patriots names, just as liberals hoped. This caused the division on display now. Surrendering to and accommodating the growing-government agenda, just to get re-elected, is not why Republicans were granted majorities in both houses of Congress last year.

The letter goes on to remind lawmakers what Americans want from new congressional leadership, including a vision and strategy inspired by conservative principles, a unified messaging strategy that limits the use of mainstream media, effective government oversight, an end to backroom deals influencing legislation, respect for the conservative base, and the restoration of the legislative powers of the Congress.

“Self-government, as designed by the founders, will end as a check on unrestrained power in the other branches, if Congress continues to fail to exercise its constitutional role as a brake on executive and judicial abuses of power,” the letter’s signers say. “Congress will become irrelevant in the scheme of our government.”

Organizational leaders who’ve signed the open letter include David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, Michael A. Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor, Sandy Rios, director of governmental affairs of American Family Association, Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dan Bongino, GOP nominee for U.S. Senate (MD), and Tim Daughtry, co-author of Waking the Sleeping Giant.

The full list of the letter’s signers can be found here.

The letter comes as controversy has swelled over recent comments made by current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy who is expected to win the speakership after House Speaker John Boehner steps down.

As Breitbart News has reported, McCarthy is attempting to smooth over a gaffe about the Benghazi hearings in which he gave the impression their purpose was politically motivated, a comment Democrats have grabbed onto and extensively publicized in the media.

“This committee was set up for one sole purpose, to find the truth on behalf of families for four dead Americans,” McCarthy backpedaled in a Fox News interview on Thursday. “I did not imply in any way that that [the committee’s investigative] work is political, of course it is not.”

Meanwhile, writing at The Hill, political analyst and BBC contributor Mark Plotkin is recommending a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to pledge to elect the next speaker to ensure conservatives do not gather up sufficient votes to elect one of their own.

Plotkin writes:

What I am recommending is that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) go to McCarthy and pledge to supply the requisite Democratic votes for him to become Speaker if he doesn’t have the required Republican votes. In exchange for this easy first-ballot victory, the Democratic leadership insists that the Hastert Rule be eliminated.

Plotkin complains that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert “insisted that no bill be allowed to go to the floor unless it had a ‘majority of the majority.’”

“This dictum was great for party solidarity but awful and tragic for the country,” he adds. “Its practical impact was that it inspired about 40 right-wing zealots to have their way. It was their goal not to legislate, but to impose ideological purity on all matters of public policy.”

McCarthy will meet next week with 80 conservative Republicans who are vetting both him and Rep. Daniel Webster, a reformer who was House Speaker in the Florida legislature and was nearly successful in a bid against Boehner at the start of this Congress.

On Tuesday, the Conservative Opportunity Society, the House Freedom Caucus, the House Tea Party Caucus, and the House Liberty Caucus will join together to hold a members-only meeting to vet the two candidates.


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