Dec 3, 2010
Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released the following column outlining several reforms to make it easier to cut spending and change the way Congress works that Republicans have already implemented or are planning to enact as they prepare to take control of the House in January:
"Over the past year I’ve enjoyed traveling Ohio’s 8th District and listening to concerns in our communities. Whether it was in Troy, Celina, or Hamilton I heard from people of all walks of life demanding more jobs, less spending, and a Congress that abides by the Constitution.
"This feedback is reflected, along with the ideas and suggestions of tens of thousands of others across the country, in Republicans’ new governing agenda – A Pledge to America – which was introduced back in September.
"With the American people having spoken on Nov. 2 in favor of a smaller, more accountable and less costly government, it’s time to make good on our Pledge. That’s why my Republican colleagues and I have announced several reforms in recent weeks to help us hit the ground running when we take control of the House in January.
"Eliminating pork barrel spending. Over the years, members of Congress have steered billions of our tax dollars to questionable pet projects through a practice known as earmarking. This broken process, which has created an entire lobbying industry in Washington at taxpayer expense, has become a symbol of out-of-control spending in Washington. This year House Republicans put in place an earmark ban on our own -- the first ever of its kind. Earlier this month we voted to renew it for another two years and with Republicans in the majority, we’ll be able to enforce the ban to ensure the earmark factory shuts down and stays shut down.
"Changing the way Congress works. The powerful, secretive House Rules Committee is the panel that makes decisions about which bills and amendments come to a vote, and which do not. As you may remember, the Rules Committee was responsible for hatching a scheme that allowed Speaker Pelosi to ram the president’s job-killing health care law – and it’s one of the only remaining committees that still does its work behind closed doors. Soon that will change. In fact House Republicans have begun the process of installing cameras in the Rules Committee hearing room in just the first of several steps we’ll be taking to make the House more accountable to the people.
"Making it easier to cut spending. It’s no secret that our current fiscal path is unsustainable. The national debt recently eclipsed $13.8 trillion and continues to grow at an alarming rate. This year alone, for every dollar that our federal government has spent it has borrowed 37 cents. To get our nation back on track toward a balanced budget, we must change the culture of spending in Washington.
"In the days to come, House Republicans will likely adopt a “Cut-As-You-Go” rule. Under “Cut-As-You-Go,” if it is your intention to create a new government program, you must also terminate or reduce spending on an existing government program of equal or greater size – in the very same bill. Combined with other ideas to break up massive spending bills into smaller parts and limit spending on an annual basis, “Cut-As-You-Go” will play an important role in forcing our federal government to cut costs.
"These are strong first steps – but only first steps – toward making difficult decisions to get our country back on track. Rest assured we’ll continue to roll out additional reforms in the weeks and months ahead.
"To those who’ve reached out to me over the past year, I want to thank you for your input and encourage you to stay engaged in the governing process. To those who haven’t, I hope you’ll consider sharing your views and concerns with me by stopping by one of my open door sessions, calling my office at 513-779-5400, or submitting your ideas online at www.johnboehner.house.gov.
"Together we can get our economy back on track and build the more responsive government that Americans deserve.
"Boehner represents Ohio’s 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990."