Document Sample
boehner_pillarsofanewmajority_101104 Powered By Docstoc
					Pillars of a New Majority
      By Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
            June – November 2010
“The value of a majority lies not in the chance to wield great
power, but in the chance to use limited power to do great things.”

         – John Boehner, Remarks on the House Floor, January 4, 2007

History will record 2010 as the year in which the American people reasserted control of their government,
and the supremacy of the people over politicians and political parties was re-established. Born from
this movement was a new majority in the U.S. House of Representatives - a majority humbler than its
predecessors, determined to rebuild trust and eager to do the will of the people.

In the months leading up to the vote on November 2, I and other Republican leaders crisscrossed the
nation on behalf of our candidates, spreading our party’s message of freedom and reform and raising the
resources necessary to repel the surge of Big Government in Washington. During this period, I also took
time to give a series of speeches that detail my vision of a principled new majority and the way in which
it should serve our nation. These five speeches, delivered between June and October, are compiled in
this document.

The Pledge to America is our governing agenda, built through a process of listening to the people. It’s my
hope that these five speeches -- some delivered as the Pledge was being conceived and written, and others
delivered after its launch -- lend further context to our governing agenda, and insight into the priorities
that will guide me if entrusted with the responsibility and honor of serving as Speaker of the House.

Several years before the speeches in this volume were delivered, I gave another speech, this one in the
House chamber itself. The date was January 4, 2007, the day on which Rep. Nancy Pelosi received the
Speaker’s gavel. In my remarks, I said: “the value of a majority lies not in the opportunity to wield great
power, but in the opportunity to use limited power to do great things” for the people we serve.

President Obama must decide whether he will heed the will of the people and work with us to address
their concerns, or continue on a path the people have rejected. If he joins us in listening to the people and
acknowledges their demand for smaller, more accountable government, much can be achieved. My hope
is that this compilation will serve as a source of information and inspiration to you as Republicans prepare
to govern and look ahead to the challenges that face our nation.

John Boehner
November 2010
Dedicated to the memory of Paula T. Nowakowski (1963-2010), my former Chief of Staff.
  A great American patriot, warrior for freedom, brilliant strategist, and beloved friend.
  Pillars of a New Majority
                             By Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
                                   June – November 2010

Table of Contents

Culture of Life                                                                             5
Remarks at National Right to Life Committee Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2010

Jobs & The Economy                                                                         11
Remarks at Cleveland City Club, Cleveland, Ohio, August 2010

National Security                                                                          19
Remarks at American Legion National Convention, Milwaukee, WI, August 2010

Congressional Reform                                                                       27
Remarks at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Washington, DC, September 2010

A New Way Forward                                                                          35
Speech to American Workers & Constituents, West Chester, OH, October 2010
                                 Culture of Life
              Remarks at National Right to Life Committee Annual
                     Convention, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2010

           “The defense of life and the defense of freedom are necessarily
           linked. We know this to be true. And if we accept it, then the
           current political agenda in Washington is a threat to freedom.”

           – John Boehner

5   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Culture of Life
Remarks by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
         at National Right to Life Convention
                                    As Prepared for Delivery Pittsburgh, PA
                                                  June 26, 2010

I’m deeply, deeply honored to be here with you today.      character. America is a nation built on freedom. And
                                                           without respect for life, freedom is in jeopardy.
I know the program says I’m here to accept an award.
But really, it isn’t my work we should be celebrating      When human life takes a back seat to other priorities –
here today; it’s YOUR work we should be celebrating.       personal comforts, economics – freedom is diminished.
It’s the collective energy of the National Right to Life   By contrast, when we affirm the dignity of life, we affirm
Committee and its state affiliates throughout America      our commitment to freedom.
that has made the real difference.
                                                           These are fundamentals in the American experience.
I want to thank each and every person in this room         And they have real implications for government and
for the leadership and sacrifice you’ve demonstrated in    those who are entrusted with power.
your communities.
                                                           For elected leaders, it means we should always err on
To be recognized by those who have devoted their           the side of life.
lives to defending life is a true badge of honor. Truly
awe-inspiring. I’m humbled, and inspired, by your          It means we must always respect the dignity of life, at all
confidence in me.                                          stages – from conception and birth, to the end of life,
                                                           and everything in between.
Respect for life has never been a political position
for me. It just came naturally. It’s me. It’s what I       It means we have a moral obligation to defend the
believe. It’s what my parents instilled in me as I grew    defenseless. And there is nothing more defenseless, or
up in America. I think millions of Americans had a         more innocent, or more pure, than an unborn baby. The
similar experience.                                        defense of life and the defense of freedom are necessarily
                                                           linked. We know this to be true. And if we accept it,
I grew up in a small house in Cincinnati with a big        then the current political agenda in Washington is a
family – 11 brothers and sisters.                          threat to freedom.

It wasn’t easy for my mom to have 12 children. But I’m     As Governor Bob McDonnell, the new governor of
glad she did.                                              Virginia, said in his response to President Obama’s
                                                           State of the Union address in January: ‘America must
My parents sent all 12 of us to Catholic schools. It       always be a land where liberty and property are valued
wasn’t easy for them to do that; believe me, our family    and respected, and innocent human life is protected.’
could have used the money for a lot of other things. But
it was important to them that we got a good education.     “I never sought to be recognized as a leader of the
And for them, a good education meant more than just        movement. Never wore my pro-life credentials on
the ABCs and 1-2-3s. It was also important that we         my sleeve.
learned about deeper values. Respect for life was at the
top of that list.                                          I was what you might call a quiet warrior. I just voted
                                                           for what I thought was right, and stood up for what I
I’ve thought a lot about this speech and what I’m going    thought was right, like all of you do every day.
to say here. And as I went through that process, I
realized a few things about who I am, and who I think      But over the past few years, I’ve been compelled to raise
we are as a people.                                        my voice; to speak out a little more loudly.

Americans love life, and we love freedom. They’re both     When you look at the agenda being pursued in
intertwined, permanently, as part of the American          Washington, if you believe in the right to life, being
           quiet isn’t good enough. We don’t have the luxury of        American rules that were meant to safeguard the
           being ‘quiet.’                                              sanctity of human life.

           If you look at what’s going on, there’s a constant          He repealed the Mexico City Policy that prevents
           tearing down of walls – walls that have stood as the        taxpayer dollars from going to international family
           last line of defense for the unborn in the decades since    planning organizations that promote – and sometimes
           Roe v. Wade.                                                provide – abortion overseas.

           In retrospect, no one should be surprised. The warning      He took it upon himself to create federal incentives to
           signs were there all along.                                 destroy human embryos – taking this action at a time
                                                                       when science is demonstrating that the true potential
           Before being elected as our 44th president, Senator         of stem cell research lies in the type of stem cell
           Barack Obama spoke at the national convention of            research that does not require the destruction of living
           Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider           human embryos.
           of abortion. He endorsed the so-called Freedom of
           Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade, and             And he weakened conscience protections that protect
           promised to make its enactment a priority for his           doctors and nurses who decline to provide abortions
           administration if elected president.                        for moral reasons.

           During the president’s first week in office, on the 36th    Most of those actions were announced late on
           anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I and 114 other House           a Friday afternoon. In Washington, a Friday af-
           Republicans sent the president a letter urging him to       ternoon announcement is code that you want to
           withdraw his pledge to sign the Freedom of Choice           hide something.
           Act, or ‘FOCA,’ into law.
                                                                       These were the start of a pattern we’ve seen repeated
           Our tone was respectful. Our message was one                throughout this administration. In the latest instance,
           of hope.                                                    the Obama administration is moving to allow abortions
                                                                       on military bases.
           The letter stated: ‘Americans from all walks of life
           have been touched by your pledge to govern from             It’s sadly ironic – and profoundly disturbing – that our
           the center, and by your vow to be a president for all       government would endorse the destruction of innocent
           Americans ...You’ve expressed a desire to be a president    American lives on the same soil our men and women
           for all Americans, and to use your presidency to promote    walk each and every day in defense of freedom and
           initiatives that bring Americans together, rather than      liberty.
           drive them apart.’
                                                                       It undermines everything the fine men and women of
           And we asked him, respectfully, to withdraw his pledge      our military are fighting for.
           to sign the Freedom of Choice Act.
                                                                       And then, of course, there’s the president’s massive
           We never got a response to that letter from the president   health care overhaul – ObamaCare.
           – not in writing, anyway.
                                                                       The overwhelming opposition of the American people
           But in the 18 months since the letter was sent, we’ve       to taxpayer funding of abortion almost kept it from
           gotten our answer. And tragically, the answer has come      becoming law.
           through the administration’s own actions. The FOCA
           agenda is being implemented, incrementally, step by         The American people – and a bipartisan majority in
           tragic step.                                                the House – supported the Stupak amendment, which
                                                                       would have prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion
           In the first few months of his presidency, President        through the health care bill.
           Obama took at least three separate actions weakening

7   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Culture of Life
This presented a huge problem for the President and           Speaking Out, aimed at engaging the American people
the Democratic leadership. Because the health care            directly in the process of crafting new governing
overhaul wasn’t being driven by the will of the people; it    agenda for Congress. One of the tools is a website,
was being driven by the will of special interests – radical, that allows every American
special interests who believe the destruction of unborn       to log on, submit ideas, and vote on ideas submitted by
human life is ‘health care.’                                  other Americans.

Ultimately it became apparent to the White House              I encourage everyone in this room – go to
and Democratic leaders that they couldn’t find the  , and tell your neighbors
votes to kill the pro-life Stupak amendment. So they          about it. Use it to get engaged in your government.
came up with a little maneuver.
                                                              One of my all-time heroes in the House is Congressman
Instead of heeding the will of the people and a bipartisan    Henry Hyde, the late representative from Illinois.
majority in the House, they crafted a disingenuous, last-
minute Executive Order that they claimed eliminated           Part of Henry’s legacy, as you know, is the
the need for pro-life protections. The president              Hyde amendment, which prohibits Congress from
issued the order, and White House aides indicated its         appropriating taxpayer funds for abortion.
enforcement would be a priority.
                                                              One of the many ideas being discussed right now on
That, sadly, was good enough for a handful of legislators,    America Speaking Out is the idea of codifying the Hyde
including Rep. Stupak himself, who prior to that point        Amendment so that it applies to all federal funding,
had mounted a courageous fight.                               whether those funds are appropriated by Congress or
                                                              authorized by Congress.
But pro-life America didn’t buy it. They doubted the
administration’s sincerity – and with good reason.            I believe this must be the next objective for pro-life
                                                              America. It’s clear from the health care debate that the
We’re three months into implementation of the new             American people don’t want their tax dollars paying
health care law – and as far as anyone can tell, the          for abortion, and a bipartisan majority in the House of
administration hasn’t lifted a finger to enforce the          Representatives agrees. It’s the will of the people, and it
president’s Executive Order on abortion.                      ought to be the law of the land – right now.

Secretary Sebelius sent a cheery ‘progress report’ on         I’m pleased to announce today that Congressman Chris
ObamaCare’s implementation to Congress in May                 Smith of New Jersey will be introducing legislation
that made no mention of the Executive Order. When             to accomplish this goal. I intend to be an original
I questioned her about it, she said only that the             cosponsor of the bill. And once it is introduced, I will
administration is ‘working on it.’                            call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer to
                                                              bring it to an immediate vote.
Several more weeks went by after that, without any
apparent action. So two weeks ago, at the White               It’s time for Washington to stop defying the will of the
House, I asked President Obama about it personally.           American people on this critical, common-sense issue.
Everyone in the room heard me ask the question. But
we’re all still waiting for an answer.                        I also believe we need to repeal the health care bill and
                                                              start over on common sense reforms that will lower
I say all this with great sadness. Sadness for the unborn,    health care costs for families and protect the sanctity
absolutely. But also sadness for our nation.                  of all human life.

These policies do not unite America. They divide              Our nation was built on ideas that came directly from
America. And in the coming months, America must               the people – people who took an active interest in
decide whether we’re going to allow it to continue.           their government.
We recently launched an initiative called America
           Americans today need to be engaged, because the               First, Henry was my friend, and probably the colleague
           people running our government haven’t been listening.         I most admired during my two decades in the House.
           And if the failure to listen continues, the consequences
           could be catastrophic.                                        Second, the examples that Henry set, in the way
                                                                         conducted himself, and in the way he defended life, are
           It will mean two more years in which Planned                  examples WE must follow.
           Parenthood, EMILY’s List and other radical groups
           determine the direction of our government, while the          Henry was at peace in the presence of others – even
           voices of pro-life Americans are shut out.                    those who disagreed with him most – because of his
                                                                         unshakable faith in the sanctity of every human life.
           It will mean two more years of Supreme Court
           appointments for activist judges who didn’t think             And when Henry died a few years ago, I had the great
           Roe v. Wade was radical enough.                               honor of being asked to speak at his memorial service.

           It could set back the cause of life for decades.              I recall some of my words then: treating everyone with
                                                                         dignity and respect came naturally to Henry. Not just
           As we look ahead to the future, we need to know who           because he was kind and full of decency, but because he
           the defenders of life really are. No one gets a pass when     truly believed all human life is precious.
           it comes to life.
                                                                         Henry was right. There is no cause more noble than
           The thwarting of the Stupak amendment was a signal            the defense of human life. There is no mission more
           moment for pro-life America. It reminded us that              critical. No debate more urgent.
           while any politician can say he or she is “pro-life,”
           actions speak louder than words.                              You know this in your hearts, or you wouldn’t be here
                                                                         today. And from the bottom of my heart – thank you
           The lesson: get involved in your government. Speak            for this honor, and thanks for all you do to defend
           out. Find out where your legislators and would-be             freedom, and defend life.
           legislators stand.

           Is your Member of Congress committed to the defense
           of life? Or is it negotiable?

           “Is your Member of Congress truly dedicated to
           protecting the unborn? Or can he or she be swayed
           by the offer of a pork-barrel project, or a new
           government program, or the promise of a plum
           committee assignment?

           “This is the time to know the answer to these questions.
           This is when it matters.

           You invited me here to give me an award, and I gratefully
           accept it. But let’s be clear: the true leaders are sitting
           out there in the crowd right now. What I do matters
           less than what you do.

           I mentioned Henry Hyde earlier, and I want to close by
           mentioning him again, for a couple of reasons.

9   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Culture of Life
                     Jobs & The Economy
                                Remarks at Cleveland City Club,
                                  Cleveland, Ohio, August 2010

           “We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community organizer.
           It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to begin now.”

           – John Boehner

11   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Jobs & Economy
Remarks by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
                on Jobs & The Economy
                                            As Prepared for Delivery
                                   The City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
                                                 August 24, 2010

         hank you for being here. I know this is the         When I met with the president last month at The
         beginning of another long day for you –             White House, I conveyed my belief – shared by many
         trying to make heads or tails of this economy,      economists – that this ongoing uncertainty is hurting
trying to make decisions without knowing what the            small businesses and preventing the creation of private
next week, or even the next day, will bring.                 sector jobs.

Working at my dad’s bar in Reading, mopping floors           Not long after we spoke, he signed a 26 billion dollar
and waiting tables, I watched him and the folks in our       ‘stimulus’ spending bill that funnels money to state
neighborhood agonize over these decisions. Later, I          governments in order to protect government jobs. Even
had to make them myself running a small business in          worse, the bill is funded by a new tax hike that makes it
West Chester.                                                more expensive to create jobs in the United States and
                                                             less expensive to create jobs overseas.
When I travel around our state, I talk to employers
who are not only trying to create jobs, but also trying      This cannot continue.
to keep the people they have. The powers-that-be in
Washington don’t stop to think of how, for a small           I have had enough – and the American people have
business, employees are like family members.                 had enough – of Washington politicians talking about
                                                             wanting to create jobs as a ploy to get themselves re-
You watch them start a family, you lend an ear when          elected while doing everything possible to prevent jobs
they’re trying to find a house in a good school district,    from being created.
you run over to the hospital when someone’s sick.
                                                             A Plan to Break the Ongoing
These are bonds that can’t be measured in statistics         Economic Uncertainty
and spreadsheets coming from this bureau or that
bureaucracy. But intangible as these bonds are, they         Today I am proposing five actions President Obama
have been frayed by the struggling economy.                  should take immediately to break this economic
                                                             uncertainty and help more Americans find an honest
Right now, America’s employers are afraid to invest in an    day’s work:
economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung
by uncertainty. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter       First, President Obama should announce he will not
rules, and more regulations has employers sitting on         carry out his plan to impose job-killing tax hikes on
their hands. And after the pummeling they’ve taken           families and small businesses.
from Washington over the last 18 months, who can
blame them?                                                  Unless Congress acts, virtually every American will see
                                                             their taxes go up on January 1, 2011.
While visiting our state last week, President Obama
attended a political fundraiser in downtown Columbus.        President Obama has stated he wants to stop some tax
At that exact moment, just a few blocks away, hundreds       hikes, and not others, once again putting the government
of Ohioans were waiting in line at a job fair where they     in the position of picking winners and losers and pitting
would learn yet again that companies aren’t hiring right     taxpayer against taxpayer. According to an analysis by
now. They’re frozen.                                         the non-partisan Joint Tax Committee, Congress’s
                                                             official tax scorekeeper, half of small business income
Or, as the organizer of the job fair put it, employers are   in America – half – would face higher taxes under the
– and I’m quoting now – “scared to death.”                   president’s plan.

Scared to death.
           Of course, as if on cue, the same Washington politicians      It eliminates a worker’s right to a secret ballot in union
           who have spent the last 18 months borrowing and               elections, making it easier for unions to organize while
           spending our economy into the ground are now fretting         putting employers at a firm disadvantage. Card check
           over whether we can afford the ‘cost’ of stopping job-        is essentially a ‘how-to’ guide for destroying small
           killing tax hikes.                                            business jobs.

           Only in Washington would it be acceptable to think            When I asked the president about his support for ‘card
           that taxpayers should have to pay for the privilege of        check’ during our meeting last month, he accused me of
           keeping more of their own hard-earned money.                  scare tactics, while the rest of the Democratic Leaders
                                                                         in the room acted like they didn’t know what I was
           We will not solve our fiscal challenges until we cut          talking about.
           spending and have real economic growth – and we
           won’t have real economic growth if we keep raising            The very next week, the president told a union crowd
           taxes on small businesses.                                    he will ‘keep on fighting’ for ‘card check.’

           One of President Obama’s predecessors once said that          Democratic Leaders refuse to rule out the possibility
           “an economy constrained by high tax rates will never          of forcing these job-killing bills through in a lame-
           produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as         duck session, after the election, after the voters have
           it will never create enough jobs.”                            had their say.

           That president was John F. Kennedy.                           Their failure to level with the American people only
                                                                         compounds the ongoing economic uncertainty.
           So let me be clear: raising taxes on families and small
           businesses during a recession is a recipe for disaster –      President Obama should announce that he would veto
           both for our economy and for the deficit. Period. End         these job-killing bills, and I pledge that Republicans
           of story.                                                     will work with him to sustain those vetoes.

           That’s why President Obama should work with                   Third, President Obama should call on Democratic
           Republicans to stop ALL of these job-killing tax hikes.       Leaders in Congress to stop obstructing Republicans’
                                                                         attempts to repeal the new health care law’s job-killing
           Second, President Obama should announce that he               ‘1099 mandate.’
           will veto any job-killing bills sent to his desk by a lame-
           duck Congress – including ‘card check,’ a national            The president’s government takeover of health care is
           energy tax, and any other tax increases on families           already wreaking havoc on employers and entrepreneurs.
           and small businesses.                                         This is a law that – upon its enactment – triggered
                                                                         the creation of more than 160 boards, bureaucracies,
           The House passed a ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy            programs, and commissions. By the end of July,
           tax last year, but the Senate has yet to act. Remember,       Washington had already racked up nearly 3,833 pages
           this is a plan under which the president said “electricity    of regulations to direct the law’s implementation.
           rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
                                                                         One of the new law’s most controversial mandates
           The national energy tax has the capacity to wipe out          requires small businesses to report any total purchases
           many of the manufacturers and family farms here in the        that run more than $600.
           Rust Belt that are just barely hanging on.
                                                                         If a landscaper wants to buy a new lawnmower, or a
           Also pending is ‘card check.’ This bill is the top priority   restaurant needs a new ice-maker, they have to report
           for the public-sector unions that provide the money           that to the feds. If you’re a Mom-and-Pop grocery
           and foot soldiers for Democratic campaigns.                   store, and you buy $1000 worth of merchandise from
                                                                         15 different vendors, that’s 15 different forms you
                                                                         have to file.

13   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Jobs & Economy
What is the point of making employers and                     Without a budget, Washington will try to get away
entrepreneurs spend $17 billion to send all this              with continuing to spend at current levels. We cannot
paperwork to Washington, where it’s going to cost             allow that to happen.
about $10 billion to log it in and file it away? Talk
about overhead.                                               Economists have warned that all this borrowing runs
                                                              the risk of causing a damaging spike in interest rates,
Last month, Republicans attempted to force a vote             which would cripple job creation.
on the House floor to repeal this job-killing mandate.
Democratic Leaders blocked that vote and instead              We also cannot allow politicians in Washington to
attempted to use this as an opportunity to impose             continue trotting out the same tired scare tactics because
another job-killing tax hike on U.S. job creators.            they don’t have the courage to say no to whichever
                                                              union or interest has their hand out.
President Obama should call on Congress to repeal this
mandate without delay, and without strings attached.          That’s not governing, and that’s certainly not leadership.
                                                              Those are just the last gasps of a failed government
Fourth, President Obama should submit to Congress             clinging to the discredited belief that more spending,
for its immediate consideration an aggressive spending        more taxing, and more borrowing can solve all
reduction package.                                            our problems.

When Congress returns, we should force Washington             Republicans are ready to work with President Obama
to cut non-defense discretionary spending to 2008             to take this first step on the path to fiscal sanity.
levels – before the ‘stimulus’ was put into place. This
would show Washington is ready to get serious about           Lastly, employers and small business owners are rightly
bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy.         frustrated by the fact that no one in the White House
                                                              -- not the president, not the vice president, not his
For his part, President Obama says we should wait and         economic team -- is listening to them.
talk about a deficit reduction plan next year. I say, let’s
talk about it right now.                                      Part of the reason for that is that virtually no one in
                                                              the White House has run a small business and created
All this ‘stimulus’ spending has gotten us nowhere,           jobs in the private sector. That lack of real-world,
but it comes from somewhere. We are now borrowing             hands-on experience shows in the policies coming out
41 cents of every dollar we spend from our kids and           of this Administration.
grandkids. Think about that – 41 cents of every dollar
we spend.                                                     The American people are asking ‘where are the jobs’
                                                              and all the president’s economic team has to offer are
This spring, when power changed hands in Britain              promises of ‘green shoots’ that never seem to grow. The
– another country racked by red ink – one Treasury            worse things get, the more they circle the wagons and
minister left a one-sentence note for his successor. The      defend the indefensible.
note read, ‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.’
                                                              We have been told that the president’s economic team
Well, I’m not afraid to tell you there’s no money left. In    is ‘exhausted’ - already, his budget director and his chief
fact, we’re broke. Our debt is now on track to the exceed     economist have moved on or are about to. Clearly,
size of our entire economy in the next two years.             they see the writing on the wall, and the president
                                                              should too.
And the government has no plan in place for paying
this debt back. In fact, Congress did not even write a        President Obama should ask for – and accept –
budget for the coming fiscal year – they just canceled        the resignations of the remaining members of his
it altogether.                                                economic team, starting with Secretary Geithner
                                                              and Larry Summers, the head of the National
                                                              Economic Council.
           Now, this is no substitute for a referendum on the           Spending
           president’s job-killing agenda. That question will be
           put before the American people in due time. But we do        Never before has the need for a fresh start in
           not have the luxury of waiting months for the president      Washington been more pressing. I’ve discussed what
           to pick scapegoats for his failing ‘stimulus’ policies.      we’re up against in terms of addressing the immediate
                                                                        economic uncertainty.
           We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community
           organizer. It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to        Beyond the soundbites and headlines, Washington is
           begin now.                                                   gripped by a more entrenched uncertainty – a standstill
                                                                        bred from all the scar tissue built up between the two
           Listening to the American People                             parties, all the kicking the can down the road, and all
                                                                        the interests that prod us to keep doing so.
           Today I’d like to talk to you about how we go about
           achieving the fresh start we need.                           I’ve said that if I were fortunate enough to be Speaker
                                                                        of the House, I would run the House differently.
           In May, Republicans launched the America Speaking
           Out project, led by Congressman Kevin McCarthy,              And I don’t just mean differently than the way
           to give taxpayers, families and small business owners a      Democrats are running it now. I mean differently
           direct line to their elected representatives.                than it’s been run in the past under Democrats
                                                                        OR Republicans.
           Online and at town hall meetings, Americans are
           sharing their solutions for building a more responsive       That means challenging the old ways in Washington,
           government and a better country. All you have to do          getting to the bottom of what drives people crazy, and
           is log on to, post an idea of         then fixing it once and for all.
           your own, or comment and vote on someone else’s. As
           we speak, thousands of ideas are percolating on America      Look at spending. We don’t just need to stop spending
           Speaking Out.                                                so much, we need to stop spending so irrationally.

           This listening effort will culminate next month with the     The common logic among Washington Democrats
           release of a clear and positive governing agenda focused     is that government spending creates jobs when that
           on getting people working again. Because jobs is the         money is used to build a hiking trail or a playground.
           issue - and ‘where are the jobs?’ is the question - I hear
           about everywhere I go.                                       Yet we have to remember that, even when spending is
                                                                        not at record-setting levels, each dollar the government
           This agenda will reject Washington-knows-best                collects is taken directly out of the private sector.
           policies and offer a fresh start focused on unshackling
           small businesses, unleashing the entrepreneurship of         This is a lose-lose proposition, plain and simple. On the
           our people and helping families across this great nation     front-end, Washington’s investments in the economy
           realize the American Dream.                                  aren’t nearly as efficient because government spending
                                                                        decisions often put a premium on political expedience
           Now, this won’t be just some document handed down            rather than sound economic policy.
           by Washington know-it-alls pushing the same-old,             And, as we’re learning now, deficit spending always
           same-old.                                                    comes due.

           And it certainly won’t be based on the idea that sitting     Here’s an example of how out-of-hand things have
           in Washington cutting backroom deals on 2,000-page           become: we have recently seen Washington politicians
           bills represents hope.                                       take victory laps for spending billions of dollars to
                                                                        continue providing unemployment insurance These
           We are building this agenda from the ground up by            benefits are held up as a “jobs plan” and ‘stimulus’ for
           listening to the American people.                            the economy.

15   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Jobs & Economy
Keeping workers on the unemployment rolls instead             year’s ‘extenders’ bill had 71 separate tax provisions
of fostering small business and private sector growth         in it, totaling 31.6 billion dollars. More provisions
is not a responsible jobs plan. The American people           get added in each year, but few if any ever fall out of
would agree unemployment insurance is an important            the package.
safety net, but it is not a responsible jobs plan.
                                                              There’s everything in this bill: the research and
The American people know what’s going on here. They           development tax credit, special expensing rules for
know that when the bill comes due, it’s their pockets         the film industry, an extension and modification of a
Washington will look to for a bailout. We’re seeing it        tax credit for steel industry fuel, the mine rescue team
right now with the president’s plan to raise taxes.           training tax credit, and tax incentives for investment in
                                                              the District of Columbia.
Listen, we need to have an honest conversation with
the American people about the scope of our fiscal             Are they worth it? Many are. But we just go ahead and
challenges – that means everything from short-term            extend all of them temporarily – and usually right at the
commitments to long-term commitments.                         last minute – so Washington can continue pandering
                                                              to the loudest voices instead of implementing the
It is an act of bad faith – and bad judgment – to start       best ideas.
this conversation by imposing job-killing tax hikes on
families and small businesses.                                For Washington, that’s just business as usual, but that’s
                                                              no way to run a business – or a government.
Failing to rein in these debts is our own fault – both
Democrats and Republicans. We should not punish               We need to take a long and hard look at the undergrowth
unemployed workers and small business owners for our          of deductions, credits, and special carveouts that our
inability to make the tough choices we were elected           tax code has become.
to make.
                                                              And, yes, we need to acknowledge that what Washington
We need to start looking at every government program          sometimes calls ‘tax cuts’ are really just poorly disguised
and ask ourselves: is it right to force our kids and          spending programs that expand the role of government
grandkids to pay for this? As Mitch Daniels, the              in the lives of individuals and employers.
governor of Indiana, recently said, “You’d really be
amazed at how much government you’d never miss.”              It was the late Jack Kemp who said, ‘not all tax cuts
                                                              are created equal.’ We need to bring simplicity and
Taxes                                                         certainty to our tax code so we can make it a vehicle for
                                                              sustainable pro-growth policies, not transfer payments
Just as we re-evaluate how the federal government             to the favored few.
spends money, we should also rethink how it
collects money.                                               Government Run Amok

Washington’s backwards accounting assumes tax relief          By trying to build a recovery on government ‘stimulus’
expires, but that spending programs will continue             spending – and failing – Washington has kept the
– setting up a built-in bias for higher taxes and             private sector in bust while manufacturing a boom for
more spending.                                                the public sector.

That is, of course, unless Congress extends the tax relief.   Since February 2009, the private sector has lost millions
So instead of making tough choices, Congress ends up          of jobs while the federal government has grown by
essentially rubberstamping a haphazard collection of          hundreds of thousands of workers.
“must do” tax policies from one year to the next.
                                                              We’ve seen not just more government jobs, but better-
The tax ‘extenders’ bill is a prime example of this. This     paying ones too. Federal employees now make on
           average more than double what private sector workers         by Congressman Paul Ryan, have already identified
           take in.                                                     $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts that could be
                                                                        implemented immediately.
           More appalling is the fact that this gap more than
           doubled in President Obama’s first year in office –          These are common-sense steps – like canceling unspent
           during a time when millions of private sector workers        ‘stimulus’ and TARP bailout funds – that put the brakes
           either lost their jobs or agreed to take pay cuts just to    on Washington’s out-of-control spending spree.
           keep the one they have.
                                                                        Republicans have also proposed establishing
           It’s just nonsense to think that taxpayers are subsidizing   strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an
           the fattened salaries and pensions of federal bureaucrats    annual basis.
           who are out there right now making it harder to create
           private sector jobs.                                         If we reduce spending from current levels and impose a
                                                                        hard cap on future growth, we can save taxpayers more
           As we speak, the Obama Administration has in the             than $340 billion and we can make sure this is the last
           queue 191 rules and regulations that could each have an      Washington spending spree of its kind.
           estimated annual cost to our economy of $100 million
           or more – many may cost $1 billion or more.                  To restore balance between the federal government and
                                                                        the public sector, Republicans have called for freezing
           That’s 191 new layers of red tape waiting in the wings,      both government pay and government hiring. Instead
           191 de facto taxes on employers and consumers that           of growing big-government, let’s focus on growing
           keep people out of work and hamper innovation and            small businesses.
           investment. Small businesses cannot plan for the future
           with ever-changing rules.                                    Last month, as part of our America Speaking Out
                                                                        project, Republican lawmakers met with leaders of
           I wish I could tell you exactly what these new               America’s employer community to hear their concerns
           rules are, but there’s no transparency here. Last            and talk about ways to end this economic uncertainty.
           week, I sent a letter to the president asking him to
           provide a full accounting of these regulations to the        One of the ideas they mentioned was a freeze on
           American people.                                             new job-killing federal regulations – just something
                                                                        Washington could do to give them breathing room.
           We received a response, but still no details on what
           these new regulations are.                                   Right now, Republicans are fighting for common-sense
                                                                        legislation authored by Congressman Geoff Davis of
           No matter who’s in charge, the federal government            Kentucky that would require congressional approval of
           should not be able to issue job-threatening rules on a       any new Executive Branch rule that imposes a cost of
           whim, without public warning or proper scrutiny.             $100 million or more on our nation’s economy.

           Better Solutions                                             This initiative would serve as a much-needed restraining
                                                                        order against unelected busybodies and bureaucrats
           Endless spending sprees, entangled tax structures, and       who overstep their boundaries and make it harder to
           bureaucracy run amok – these are all outgrowths of a         create jobs.
           tired, bloated, and broken Washington.
                                                                        President Reagan once said that there ought to be a law
           Now more than ever, we need a fresh start that puts          against saying “there ought to be a law.” I could not
           power back where it belongs: in the hands of the             agree more.
           people. As one citizen put it on the America Speaking
           Out website, “just get out of the way.”                      It’s not enough, however, to break the current
                                                                        uncertainty, rein in big government, and hope the
           Republicans on the House Budget Committee, led               pendulum swings the other way. Once businesses get

17   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Jobs & Economy
up off the sidelines, we need to keep them in the game.     Governor McDonnell refused to balance his state’s
                                                            budget by making it harder for Virginia families and
One idea Ways and Means Committee Ranking                   business owners to balance their own.
Republican Dave Camp           proposed as part of
Republicans’ ‘stimulus’ alternative called for allowing     In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie entered office
small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to take      facing an $11 billion deficit. His predecessor, also a
a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.        Democrat, left behind a bloated government that used
                                                            election-year property tax gimmicks to survive one set
This would free up extra capital for investment and new     of broken promises after another.
hiring to jumpstart a robust recovery. It was a better
solution then, and it is a better solution now.             Both governors forged bipartisan cooperation, set
                                                            priorities, cut spending, and closed their shortfalls –
We’ve also recently heard a lot of talk in Washington       without raising taxes.
about the manufacturing sector, but no action. Congress
has yet to act on pending free trade agreements with        But unless Washington provides leadership and puts
Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.                          in place policies that promote lasting private sector job
                                                            creation – our engine of economic growth – the states
These agreements would level the playing field for          will continue to face difficult choices year after year
American workers, farmers, and businesses and pave          after year.
the way for creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs
here at home.                                               Closing

Passing these free-trade agreements was a critical          For 20 years now, I’ve watched leaders in both parties
plank of the jobs plan that House Republican Whip           take a look at the big issues, the tough issues – and then
Eric Cantor and I presented to President Obama              look away. But now we’re just out of time. We have run
last December.                                              out of road to kick the can down.

Congress should approve these free trade agreements         It’s time to put grown-ups in charge. It’s time for people
immediately.                                                willing to accept responsibility. It’s time to do what we
                                                            say we’re going to do.
State Solutions
                                                            These are the values I learned growing up with 11
The best case I can make for these solutions is that they   brothers and sisters, and these are the values I have
work – and they are working right now.                      passed on to my daughters.

Last year, House Republicans launched the State             I’ve also told my girls how I was raised to never accept
Solutions project to bring Republican governors and         the next best thing for myself or my country.
state legislators together to fight big-government
policies and promote better solutions to Americans’         This is the time. No more uncertainty. No more
everyday challenges.                                        muddled messages.

Let’s look at what two Republican governors who have        America’s strength is her people – hard working,
been in office only a matter of months have been able       industrious, always pioneering, always innovating – so
to accomplish:                                              we will confront these hard truths together and we will
                                                            tackle these challenges – together.
In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell entered office
facing an unprecedented $4.2 billion deficit. His           Thank you for being here. I look forward to taking
predecessor, the chairman of the Democratic party,          your questions.
proposed closing the shortfall by imposing the largest
tax increase in the state’s history.
                              National Security
                  Remarks at American Legion National Convention,
                             Milwaukee, WI, August 2010

            “Today, as thousands of our warriors come home seeking to provide for their
            families and realize the American Dream they have volunteered to defend,
            they confront an economy that affords neither opportunities nor jobs.
            Veterans’ unemployment is now at 11 percent. That is why I have called on
            my colleagues in the Congress and the president to join me in supporting a
            series of immediate actions to end the ongoing economic uncertainty and
            help more Americans find an honest day’s work. ‘Stimulus’ spending sprees,
            permanent bailouts, federal mandates and government takeovers have failed
            this nation and have failed our veterans.”

            – John Boehner

19   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Nationa l S e curit y
Remarks by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
                 on National Security
                                         As Prepared for Delivery
                         92nd American Legion National Convention, Milwaukee, WI
                                              August 31, 2010

          hank you for that introduction, Commander          have harmed veterans. With the Legion’s help, we
          Hill. The American Legion made a great             successfully protected veterans’ health care benefits
          choice by electing an Ohioan to serve as           from new mandates and costly regulations.
national commander.
                                                             Jobs and the Economy
Thank you for having me - it is always an honor
to be among those who wear and have worn our                 As important as our government’s commitment to
nation’s uniform.                                            provide quality health care for our veterans may be,
                                                             just as important is a commitment to the dignity and
Before I go any further, I want to thank the American        respect that comes from holding a job.
Legion and all our veterans service organizations for
supporting our troops wherever they are stationed and        Today, as thousands of our warriors come home seeking
caring for them when they come home.                         to provide for their families and realize the American
                                                             Dream they have volunteered to defend, awaiting them
It is truly hero’s work and I know I speak for all the       is an economy that affords neither opportunities nor
members of the United States Congress when I say             jobs. Veterans’ unemployment is now at 11 percent.
‘thank you.’
                                                             That is why I have called on my colleagues in the
I also want to congratulate Commander Hill and the           Congress and the president to join me in supporting
hundreds of bikers who participated in yet another           a series of immediate actions to end the ongoing
successful Legacy Run. All told, you raised more than        economic uncertainty and help more Americans find
$360,000 for the families of servicemembers who have         an honest day’s work.
fallen in the line in the years following the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001.                               ‘Stimulus’ spending sprees, permanent bailouts, federal
                                                             mandates and government takeovers have failed this
Your efforts serve as a reminder of our shared resolve as    nation and have failed our veterans.
a country to never forget 9/11 and to keep faith with
the heroes who lost their lives that day -- often in the     It’s time for a fresh start so that every man and woman
hope that others might live.                                 who has donned the uniform of our nation knows that
                                                             when they leave the service, the opportunity for a good
Those memories don’t fade and these colors don’t run.        job in the private sector awaits them.
So we honor the sacrifices of our 9/11 heroes --- today…
tomorrow…always.                                             Iraq

Thank you for the work you are doing to help improve         It is an honor to share the stage today with Secretary
veterans’ access to the quality health care they deserve.    Robert Gates and I join him in thanking our brave men
                                                             and women who have served and are currently serving
I was proud to work with the Legion last year to stop a      in Iraq.
severely misguided plan to bill veterans’ health insurance
companies for combat injuries. Insurance companies           This day belongs to our troops, whose courage and
don’t send men and women into combat, our Nation             sacrifices have made the transition to a new mission
does – and our Nation should take responsibility for         in Iraq possible. It is with profound gratitude that we
that momentous decision.                                     reflect on all that our servicemembers and their families
                                                             have done – and continue to do – during a time of
And I was proud to stand with the Legion this year           peril. We also salute the work of their commanders,
to expose flaws in the new health care law that could        General David Petraeus and General Ray Odierno.
            At this moment, I can’t help but think back to a time       in the region than a democratic Iraq. There is no greater
            when the situation in Iraq was grim and the future          inspiration to moderate governments and reformers in
            seemed bleak.                                               the region than a successful Iraq. And there is no better
                                                                        argument against those who preach intolerance and
            When General Petraeus embarked on the surge strategy,       hatred than a free, stable, thriving Iraq.
            it was widely viewed as our last chance to save Iraq from
            spiraling into an irreversible descent toward chaos. The    Of course, true success in Iraq will be determined not by
            consequences of failure then, as now, were severe.          the words politicians speak today, but by their actions
                                                                        in the months and years ahead.
            Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought
            tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly       The hard truth is that Iraq will continue to remain
            claim credit for the results.                               a target for those who hope to destroy freedom
                                                                        and democracy.
              •	   One leader in the U.S. House of Representa-
                   tives declared the surge a failure before it was     The people of that nation – and this nation – deserve
                   even implemented.                                    to know what America is prepared to do if the cause
                                                                        for which our troops sacrificed their lives in Iraq is
              •	   One leader in the United States Senate               threatened. I hope the president will address that
                   said, and I quote – ‘this war is lost’ – while       question as early as tonight, when he speaks to the
                   additional forces were being mobilized.              nation, and the world.
              •	   One lawmaker rejected the idea that the surge
                                                                        Over the past several months, we’ve often heard about
                   would reduce violence in Iraq, saying – and
                                                                        ending the war in Iraq, but not much about winning
                   again I’m quoting – ‘in fact, I think it will do
                                                                        the war in Iraq. If we honor what our men and women
                   the reverse.’
                                                                        fought for, we cannot turn our backs now on what they
                                                                        have achieved.
            These are lawmakers who supported – and accepted
            support from – an anti-war organization that ran a full     When we support our troops, we support them all the
            page ad in The New York Times smearing a four star          way – there is no such thing as supporting our troops,
            general, a commander of men and women in harm’s             but not their mission.
            way as “General Betray Us.”
                                                                        Victory in Iraq was the only option in 2007 – and it is
            These are sad facts.                                        the only option now.

            Today we mark not the defeat those voices anticipated       The American Legion understands that, and the
            – but progress.                                             American people understand that. That is why we are
                                                                        here talking about our troops returning home in success
            And I want to thank President Obama for setting             instead of gradual surrender.
            aside his past political rhetoric and recognizing the
            importance of the surge and the diplomatic agreement        Of course, too many of our own have returned home
            signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki.         from Iraq to be laid to rest. Their sacrifices have not
                                                                        been in vain, and I know Legionnaires give their all to
            At this hour, 50,000 U.S. troops are still in Iraq. For     ensure that the families of the fallen are held up in our
            those troops, and for their families, the war will not be   hearts and deeds.
            over until they come home. And though the mission
            has changed, their work is no less critical.                Staff Sergeant Daniel Clay is one of our fallen heroes. His
                                                                        wife, Lisa Bell Clay, once worked in my congressional
            For there is no stronger bulwark against the menace         office. Sergeant Clay was one of our United States
            posed by the Iranian regime or other extremist forces       Marines killed in Fallujah in 2006.

21   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Nationa l S e curit y
He left behind a letter to his family to be read in case of    Afghanistan must be resistant to the forces of
his death. In the letter, Sergeant Clay wrote: ‘What we        extremism hell bent on returning to power and it must
have done in Iraq is worth any sacrifice. Why? Because         be resistant to becoming a potential safe haven for
it was our duty. That sounds simple. But all of us have        terrorist organizations.
a duty. Duty is defined as a God-given task. Without
duty, life is worthless.’                                      I support our counterinsurgency strategy in
                                                               Afghanistan, but the president must do more to
This Marine understood his duty to God and country.            emphasize his commitment to ensuring its success rather
We as elected leaders must understand ours as well.            than focusing on arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal.
                                                               And he must also place a greater emphasis on ensuring
Commitments to Our Troops                                      successful implementation of both the military and
                                                               civilian components of his strategy.
Our troops in harm’s way should never have to doubt
Congress’s commitment to supporting their mission.             Using campaign promises as a yardstick to measure
                                                               success in Iraq and Afghanistan runs the risk of triggering
When asked to provide our troops in harm’s way with            artificial victory laps and premature withdrawal dates
the resources they need, we should do so without delay.        unconnected to conditions on the ground.
That means no more troop funding bills held up by
unrelated, extraneous domestic spending and pork               After years of hard fighting – which has come at a high
barrel projects.                                               price – we cannot afford to underestimate the impact
                                                               our domestic debates and political hedging have on
We need a Congress that understands when we send our           decisions made by friend and foe alike.
sons and daughters to risk all in defense of our security
– victory is the only option – and we will do whatever         If we are successful in accomplishing our goals in
it takes to provide them with the necessary support so         Afghanistan, it will be because of the endurance,
they can return home swiftly and successfully.                 discipline, and patience of our troops. I know the
                                                               American Legion joins me in expressing gratitude to
No voice – no matter how strong or committed – can             our men and women serving in Afghanistan.
substitute for the voice of the Commander-in-Chief.
                                                               Confronting and Defeating the
That is why the president must take the time to                Terrorist Threat
articulate in a coherent, consistent matter to their
families and fellow citizens the cause, purpose, and goal      The United States certainly cannot afford to think
of their mission.                                              short-term when our enemies have proven time and
                                                               again they are in it for the long haul.
These imperatives should not be communicated in
the manner of ‘checking a box.’ These missions should          This is a war that began well before the tragic events of
not be bunched together among a laundry list of                9/11 – it is a war the American people did not seek, and
political challenges.                                          did not start. This is an enemy that first tried to blow
                                                               up the World Trade Center in 1993. This is an enemy
Afghanistan                                                    that then took its desire to kill Americans abroad – to
                                                               Riyadh in 1995, to Khobar Towers in 1996, to East
Afghanistan is not just one of ‘two wars’ – it is central to   Africa in 1998, and to the U.S.S. Cole off the coast of
the global struggle against extremism and intolerance.         Yemen in 2000.

The border Afghanistan shares with Pakistan is a virtual       This is an enemy that seeks to impose a pernicious legal
command and control center where al Qaeda leaders              code and wills the death and destruction of anyone
plan and plot their attacks against the United States          who opposes them.
and its allies.
            Before 9/11, the United States treated terrorism like          Obama Administration is blatantly playing politics
            a law enforcement issue. We handled each incident              with this issue.
            as separate and unique, content with investigating
            after the fact rather than focusing on preventing the          When it comes to holding those who kill innocent
            attack. We characterized the perpetrators as criminals         Americans responsible for their heinous acts, politics
            to be tried and contained, rather than terrorists to be        should be the last thing on our mind.
            deterred and defeated.
                                                                           Over the course of the last 20 months, it is clear our
            We see signs of a return to this pre-9/11 mentality in         country’s overarching detention policy has been lost. We
            proposals to house terrorists on American soil just to         do not know the parameters for when, how, and under
            fulfill a political promise.                                   what circumstances we will capture, solicit information
                                                                           from, and detain illegal enemy combatants.
            The American people were told last year that keeping
            open the Guantanamo Bay Prison, which houses                   We are a nation at war. A patchwork of political
            the worst of the worst, served as a rallying cry for           promises does not represent a coherent strategy to
            our enemies.                                                   confront and defeat the terrorist threat.

            We were told that closing the detention facilities and         We need a Congress that will hold our government
            importing the remaining terrorists into the United             accountable for an overarching capture, detention and
            States would diminish the threat.                              interrogation policy. And we need a Congress that
                                                                           will use every tool at its disposal to keep terrorists off
            And then, starting with a plot to blow up the Manhattan        U.S. soil.
            subway system last September, we witnessed four
            terrorist incidents on U.S. soil in an eight-month             Stopping at nothing to confront and defeat the terrorist
            period – including the Fort Hood shooting….the                 threat – that is how we can best protect the American
            attempted Christmas Day bombing….and the failed                people and set an example for the world.
            Times Square bombing.
                                                                           Ideas Matter
            Each of these attacks represented new strands
            of terrorism. Each of these terrorists received                Our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are also critical
            varying degrees of support, but all had ties to                to maintaining America’s centuries-old role as a selfless
            international terrorist organizations and their radical        beacon of freedom and hope.
            extremist platforms.
                                                                           For America did not become ‘the last, best hope of
            Now more than ever, the American people deserve                man’ by accident or by force. It was a choice – a choice
            every assurance that their government has the right            first made by revolutionaries who faced down what was
            legal authorities and the right mindset in place to            then the most powerful empire in the world.
            prevent future attacks.
                                                                           During his second Inaugural Address, President
            Just days ago, the Justice Department announced it             Lincoln talked about how the Union did not seek to
            would not be pursuing charges against the terrorist who        make war, but chose to accept war in freedom’s defense
            allegedly coordinated the bombing of the USS Cole.             rather than letting the nation perish.

            This is no garden variety terrorist. This is a terrorist who   And at the height of our test of wills against Soviet
            has the blood of 17 American sailors on his hands. This        Communism, President Reagan reaffirmed America’s
            is a terrorist who worked hand in hand with one of the         commitment to a genuine peace, but made certain the
            9/11 hijackers.                                                Evil Empire knew that “we will never compromise our
                                                                           principles and our standards, and we will never give
            The commander of the Cole, who has fought for justice          away our freedom.”
            alongside the families of the fallen sailors, has said the

23   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Nationa l S e curit y
Ideas matter.                                                  protected, and that no one’s opportunity to pursue
                                                               happiness will be limited.
When reports of President Reagan’s words reached the
Siberian gulags, the Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky          If America will not stand with freedom-loving peoples
tapped them out to his fellow prisoners in code.               and those who seek to be free from evil – whether in
                                                               the guise of petty tyranny, radical Islam, or any Marxist
Years later, when finally he was free and his oppressors       regime – then who on this Earth will?
had been tossed to the ash heap of history, Sharansky
visited the Oval Office. And he urged President Reagan         Ideas matter. Our government must reawaken itself to
to keep giving his speeches, so that others who aspired        the task of providing a more robust defense of freedom
to liberty could hear his call to arms.                        and liberty.

President Reagan’s rhetoric rang out to another                Because when America does not articulate these
dissident, an electrician by the name of Lech Walesa,          enduring values in a forceful, consistent manner –
who shaped the Solidarity movement that caused one             when we do not send these words out to fight for us
of the first dents in the Iron Curtain.                        – we cause turmoil and confusion.

When President Reagan died – 15 years after the                Our enemies take this as a sign of weakness or a
Berlin Wall came down – Walesa wrote in America’s              dimming of our belief in ourselves.
newspapers that “we in Poland took him so personally.
Why? Because we owe him our liberty.”                          Our allies see cause to be uncertain and unsettled about
                                                               what role the United States will play in the future.
Margaret Thatcher said of President Reagan: he took
words and sent them out to fight for us.                       When we do not speak out, our deeds are left to speak
                                                               for themselves.
What words are being sent out now from our
government to fight for the cause of freedom and               Every time we make a concession to countries acting
democracy? What words does a prisoner in Cuba’s                against our national interests…every time we ignore or
gulag or a freedom fighter in Iran hear?                       snub the commitments, shared values, and sacrifices of
                                                               our allies…we pay a price.
Or those who are struggling to hold onto newly
formed democracies in places such as Georgia or                Iran and Israel
the democracies in our own hemisphere threatened
by Venezuela?                                                  As we gather here, Iran is working to develop a nuclear
                                                               weapons program. Contrary to the wishful thinking
And if the prisoners of Belarus or North Korea hear            of some, the Iranian regime is capable of doing a cost-
nothing – if it is silence that echoes in their cells rather   benefit analysis of pursuing these weapons in the face of
than the firm words of America’s support – if they hear        international isolation.
nothing, will they one day be able to sit in the Oval
Office or write in the pages of a free media to thank an       Iran is more than prepared to sacrifice the well-being
American president?                                            of its people for the chance to fundamentally change
                                                               the balance of power in the region. It is the true source
Never forget that America remains the only nation on           of instability in the region, and we must not naively
the face of the Earth founded on an idea, not an identity      assume a nuclear-armed Iran would be containable.
– an idea that free people can govern themselves, and
that government’s powers are endowed only through              The destinies of Iran and Israel are often inter-linked,
the consent of the governed.                                   with good reason. Israel is an island of freedom
                                                               surrounded by a sea of oppression and hate, surrounded
An idea that the rights of all will be respected and           by enemies who seek its destruction.
            Israel is on the front lines of the ideological and           You have done it. Your comrades have died for it. Our
            violent clash we are confronting. The attacks against         troops risk all for it.
            it – whether through acts of violence, international
            criticism, or manipulation of laws of war – are often the     All you’ve asked for, and all they ask for, is the full
            vanguard of what our country will face.                       support of their elected leaders, and so long as I have
                                                                          anything to say about it – I give you my word – they
            America has stood by Israel since Harry Truman sat in         will have it.
            the Oval Office. Our commitment to this long-standing
            friendship should be no less strong today.                    High atop the United States Capitol Dome stands the
                                                                          Statue of Freedom, completed in 1863 during some
            Where I come from, you stick by your friends, you stick       of the darkest and most divisive days in the history of
            by people who share your values. You do not send a            our country.
            message of strength to your enemies by shunning your
            friends and allies.                                           What I love most about the Statue of Freedom is that
                                                                          she faces to the east … because the sun never sets on
            The foreign policy of the United States should not be         freedom’s face.
            built on a platform of apologies, corrections, and reset
            buttons. We will not confront and defeat the terrorist        The sun never sets on an idea America pioneered…an
            threat by blurring America’s exceptionalism and backing       idea America has championed…an idea generations of
            out on America’s commitments.                                 Americans have fought and died for, incurring a debt
                                                                          this nation can never fully repay.
                                                                          Thank you. God bless you, God bless your families, and
            Our nation has paid a tremendously high cost these last       God bless America.
            nine years at war, and our military personnel and their
            families have paid the highest price.

            We have had heart-wrenching debates regarding how
            best to address these challenges. These debates have left
            scar tissue – between parties and ideologies – but the
            challenges we face know neither.

            We have serious decisions to make regarding our
            path forward, and these decisions will be made in
            an environment in which we borrow 41 cents of
            every dollar we spend. This means we must focus on
            working together to identify our national security
            priorities and ensure our continued military and
            economic superiority.

            Just as America’s founding was a choice, maintaining its
            greatness is a choice as well.

            Today, we choose to do what needs to be done – to do
            what we know to be right – and to never accept the
            next best thing for our families, for our country, and
            for freedom.

            These are articles of faith worth fighting to the last for.

25   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Nationa l S e curit y
                   Congressional Reform
                   Remarks at American Enterprise Institute (AEI),
                          Washington, DC, September 2010

           “The mission of the United States Congress is to serve the American people
           – and today, due in part to institutional barriers that have been in place for
           decades, that mission goes unfulfilled. These wounds have been self-inflicted
           by both parties, and if we do not fix them, it’s possible no one will.”

           – John Boehner

27   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Congressional Reform
Remarks by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
              on Congressional Reform
                                       As Prepared for Delivery
             The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, DC
                                           September 30, 2010

G        ood afternoon. Thank you, Chris, for the warm
                                                              humbled by it. The House, more than any other part of
                                                              our government, is the most direct voice of the people
                                                              -- and therefore should be afforded the most care in
I’d like to begin by telling you a story. Some years ago      protecting its ability to reflect the people’s will.
back in Ohio, while I was working my way through
night school at Xavier University, I started a small          So today I’d like to talk to you about why this
business. Sadly, about six months after we got up and         institution is broken and how we make it function
running, my partner in the venture died suddenly.             again. Because until it does, ladies and gentlemen, we
And we had one customer at the time. So there I               don’t stand a chance of addressing our deepest and most
was, with two years left at Xavier, and I was trying to       pressing problems.
hold this business together – the little bit that was
still there. And, let me tell you, I fought for it with       Collapse of the 111th Congress
everything I had.
                                                              Just look at how the 111th Congress is not so much
Looking back on it now, what strikes me is that I never       concluding as it is collapsing. Instead of tallying
thought about walking away. This was something                up a final flurry of legislative output, observers and
I invested my name and my money in. And I had                 constituents are asking, ‘what went wrong?’
an obligation to that paying customer, as well as
my partner who had also put his time and energy               The answers would come easy to the people in this room,
into the business.                                            but the hard truth for families and small businesses is
                                                              that their problems continue to go unaddressed.
Today, I feel the same sense of obligation and
determination when I look at what’s happened to               This week, we had -- in my view -- an obligation to bring
our government.                                               both parties together and stop massive tax increases
                                                              scheduled to take effect on January 1st -- increases we
Because listen, I’ve been here nearly twenty years, so        have seen coming for two years now. And, even with
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. And lately,        the existence of a clear bipartisan majority and the
there’s been plenty of ugly. Americans have every right       support of the American people, we could not get a
to be fed up – they do.                                       simple up-or-down vote.

But what I won’t accept – what I refuse to accept – is        It’s a sad, but not altogether surprising, finale to this
that we can simply walk away and let our government           Congress, and the latest in a long string of congressional
continue to drift – this government our forbears              sessions that have frayed the fragile bonds of trust
sacrificed everything to build.                               between the American people and their legislature.

The mission of the United States Congress is to serve         The House finds itself in a state of emergency. The
the American people -- and today, due in part to              institution does not function, does not deliberate,
institutional barriers that have been in place for decades,   and seems incapable of acting on the will of the
that mission goes unfulfilled.                                people. From the floor to the committee level, the
                                                              integrity of the House has been compromised. The
These wounds have been self-inflicted by both parties,        battle of ideas – the very lifeblood of the House – is
and if we do not fix them, it’s possible no one will. In      virtually nonexistent.
the Constitution, the House of Representatives is the
first institution of the first branch of government –         Leaders overreach because the rules allow them to.
the body closest to the people. That is an awesome            Legislators duck their responsibilities because the
responsibility. We should take pride in it, and be            rules help them to. And when the rules don’t suit the
                                                              majority’s purposes, they are just ignored.
           There’s no accountability, and there are no conse-           But we have strayed far afield from our job description.
           quences. Whether we here in Washington believe this          Members go out and promise their constituents the
           or not, the people clearly do. Think about how our           moon, and to try and fulfill those commitments, they
           constant flouting of the rules sits with a small busi-       agree to conform to a system that emphasizes seniority
           ness owner who has to spend his or her day complying         and party loyalty. The ropes they are shown lead to
           with all the mandates and regulations our government         passing more bills, micromanaging more bureaucracies,
           sends down.                                                  and raiding the federal treasury.

           The dysfunction in Congress is not new; both parties         That is why, in the Pledge to America, the governing
           bear the blame for it. But the dysfunction has now           agenda my colleagues and I issued last week, we state
           reached a tipping point -- a point at which none of us       that every bill that comes to the floor of the House
           can credibly deny that it is having a negative impact on     should contain a clear citation of constitutional
           the people we serve. Consider:                               authority. If we cannot do this much – we should put
                                                                        down the pen and stop right there.
             •	   This is the first time since enactment of the
                  Budget Act in 1974 that the House has not             Congress has been most maligned over the past
                  passed a budget resolution.                           generation for its fiscal recklessness, and rightly
                                                                        so. Mindful of the dangers of ‘taxation without
             •	   This Congress is the first in our history that        representation,’ the Framers handed the power to tax
                  has not allowed one bill to be considered             and spend to the legislative branch exclusively. It’s right
                  under an open amendment process – not one.            there in Article I, Section 9.
                  The current freshman class has served an
                  entire term in Congress without ever having           But having the right to do something doesn’t necessarily
                  operated under an open rule.                          make it the right thing to do. Current congressional
                                                                        rules are rigged to make it easy to increase spending and
             •	   And use of ‘martial law’ – which gives the
                                                                        next-to-impossible to cut spending. Much of the law
                  majority the power to bring up any bill at any
                                                                        that governs the process – the Budget Act of 1974 –
                  time and strips the minority of its few rights
                                                                        is tied to rules instead of statutes. Consequently, we
                  – has nearly doubled.
                                                                        routinely waive the Budget Act’s requirements to serve
                                                                        our purposes. Can’t write a budget? Just waive the rule
           The three pillars of any democracy are the rule of law,      and move on. No harm, no foul.
           transparency, and a functioning civil society. Over
           decades, all three of these pillars have been chipped        The “pay as you go” rule has been repeatedly ignored to
           away in the people’s House.                                  justify billions of dollars in new spending and tax and
                                                                        fee increases. So we ought to start at square one and
           The work of making our institution function again            give serious consideration to re-visiting, and perhaps
           cannot be reduced to one reform or toolkit of reforms.       re-writing, the 1974 Budget Act.
           It will require a sustained effort that rests on the three
           pillars and firmly adheres to the job description laid out   While the culture of spending stems largely from a
           in Article I of the Constitution.                            lack of political will in both parties to say ‘no,’ it is also
                                                                        the consequence of what I believe to be a structural
           Rule of Law                                                  problem. As Kevin McCarthy often says, structure
                                                                        dictates behavior. Aided by a structure that facilitates
           First, the rule of law. We always hear members of            spending increases and discourages spending cuts,
           Congress talking about swearing an oath to represent         the inertia in Washington is currently to spend -- and
           their constituents when in reality the only oath we          spend -- and spend. Most spending bills come to the
           take is to the Constitution. We pledge “to support           floor prepackaged in a manner that makes it as easy
           and defend the Constitution of the United States.” No        as possible to advance government spending and
           more, no less.                                               programs, and as difficult as possible to make cuts.

29   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Congressional Reform
Again, this is not a new problem. But if we’re serious      -- many of them creating new government programs,
about confronting the challenges that lie ahead for our     some of which had been subject to little if any scrutiny
nation, it’s totally inadequate.                            or debate. If we’d had a “CutGO” rule in place this
                                                            week, roughly half of these 85 bills would never have
I propose today a different approach. Let’s do away         made it to the floor.
with the concept of “comprehensive” spending bills.
Let’s break them up, to encourage scrutiny, and make        CutGO was conceived by my friend and colleague Roy
spending cuts easier. Rather than pairing agencies and      Blunt. And as he put it, “let’s turn the activists for big
departments together, let them come to the House            government on each other, instead of letting them gang
floor individually, to be judged on their own merit.        up on the taxpayer.” Through this public discussion,
Members shouldn’t have to vote for big spending             we might end up finding out that neither program has
increases at the Labor Department in order to fund          a whole lot of merit in the first place. It may sound
Health and Human Services. Members shouldn’t have           simplistic, but sometimes that’s the best place to start.
to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department
just because they support NASA. Each department             Of course, no amount of spending control can substitute
and agency should justify itself each year to the full      for the critical role of oversight. We should direct every
House and Senate, and be judged on its own.                 committee to make its oversight responsibilities a top
                                                            priority, and to make no apologies for it. Both parties
For decades, the word “comprehensive” has been used as      should work together to ensure each program is meeting
a positive adjective in Washington. I would respectfully    congressional intent and serving the national interest.
submit that those days are behind us. The American          Republicans should not start from the assumption that
people are not well-served by “comprehensive.” In an        all government is bad; nor should Democrats start from
era of trillion-dollar deficits, we need a tighter focus;   the assumption that all government is good. Oversight
one that places an emphasis on getting it right, and less   should be conducted by uniform standards:
emphasis on getting it done quickly.
                                                             •	   What’s the purpose of this program?
Don’t assume I’m singling out the appropriators; I’m
not. Over decades, in my view, authorizing committees        •	   What’s its’ responsibility?
in the House and Senate have also abdicated their
                                                             •	   Is this the best use of taxpayers’ time and money?
responsibility, often authorizing billions of dollars
knowing full well they will never actually be               Of course, if we’re truly serious about being responsible
appropriated. Interest groups then lobby Congress           again on spending, we need to do something about
to “fully fund” the program, systematically creating        earmarks.
pressure on the legislature to drive up spending. This
has to stop. Authorizing Committees should be held          As we know too well, earmarks are the often-
to the same standard as the appropriations committee:       questionable spending projects that are slipped into
authorize what we can afford, and hold agencies to          bills with little scrutiny. They run the gamut from
account for results.                                        bridges to nowhere and “monuments to me to sewer
                                                            projects and art exhibits. They ride on authorizing bills,
We should also consider developing a “cut as you go”        appropriations bills, and tax bills. An entire lobbying
rule that would apply to any member proposing the           industry has been created around them. And they’ve
creation of new government programs or benefits.            become a symbol of a spending process that has broken
Very simply, under this “CutGO” rule, if it is your         faith with the American people.
intention to create a new government program, you
must also terminate or reduce spending on an existing       House Republicans voted to stop the process this year
government program of equal or greater size – in the        -- on our own, without cooperation from Democrats
very same bill.                                             -- so that we could begin reforming how Washington
                                                            spends taxpayers’ money.
Just this week, the majority leadership brought 85
different suspension bills to the floor on a single day
           Like the decision to adopt the moratorium in the first          Again, structure dictates behavior. More debate and
           place, the future of the moratorium will be a collective        more amendments will mean more intense scrutiny,
           decision, made by our members. But on the question              and ultimately, better legislation.
           of earmarking, my colleagues and my constituents
           know where I stand. I told my constituents in 1990:             Just as we’ve shielded members from tough votes,
           if you believe it’s important to have a representative          we’ve also enabled them to write bad bills. With all
           who will go to Washington and raid the federal                  the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that
           Treasury on your behalf, you should probably vote for           Congress spends so much time on naming post offices,
           someone else. I’ve had a personal ‘no earmarks’ policy          congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the
           since I began serving in Congress, and I always will.           birthdays of historical figures.
           I believe it is our obligation to end earmarking as we
           know it and bring fundamental change to the manner              Now, I know the drill: members get good press
           in which Washington spends taxpayers’ money,                    opportunities back home and leaders get cover while
           and I will continue to be an advocate for reforms to            stalling on the people’s priorities. But often these
           ensure that happens.                                            resolutions are poorly drafted, or duplicative of
                                                                           previously considered bills. And under both parties
           Functioning Civil Society                                       they’ve received little or no oversight. It’s my view that
                                                                           we should consider taking all these commemorative
           One of the reasons why we do not have a functioning             moments and special honors, and handle them during
           civil society in the House is that our efforts are geared       special orders and one-minute speeches. It’s time to
           towards catering to the individual member instead of            focus on doing what we were sent here to do.
           focusing on our collective responsibility to govern. The
           rules are too often manipulated to shut down debate             The ultimate measure of whether we have a functioning
           and protect individual members from tough votes.                house is not bipartisanship. Our focus shouldn’t be on
                                                                           working across party lines for its own sake. The true
           In recent years -- and not just under the current               test is whether our ideas, policies, and values are able
           majority -- the minority has been forced to use the             to stand the test of a fair debate and a fair vote. And
           motion to recommit, often in ways that are painful for          sadly, that’s something we have not seen in the House
           the majority, to ensure the minority’s voice is heard.          for some time.
           And in turn, the majority has responded by conjuring
           up new ways to shut the minority out even further. It’s         Transparency
           a cycle of gridlock.
                                                                           Of course, it’s hard to guarantee a fair debate when
           Here’s my question: what are we so afraid of ?                  the majority has the ability to change bills in the
                                                                           dark of night and literally drop them into the laps of
           The more we do to avoid risk and protect our members            the minority just hours before debate is set to start.
           from tough votes, the more ineffective and polarized            Without transparency, lawmakers cannot hold each
           the institution becomes. The House was designed to              other accountable, and the American people cannot
           reflect our natural contentiousness as a people. That’s         hold us to account.
           the genius of our system.
                                                                           That’s why in the Pledge to America we say that the
           So instead of clamping down even further, it’s my view          text of all bills should be published online for at least
           that we should open things up and let the battle of ideas       three days before coming up for a vote. No exceptions.
           help break down the scar tissue between the two parties.        No excuses.
           Yes, we will still have disagreements. But let’s have them
           out in the open. Yes, we will still try to outmaneuver each     But this lack of transparency speaks to a larger
           other. But let’s make it a fair fight. Instead of selling our   problem where the Speaker’s office has the capacity to
           Members short, let’s give them a chance to do their jobs.       unilaterally draft a bill and send it straight through to the
           Let’s let legislators legislate again.                          Rules Committee.

31   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Congressional Reform
Woodrow Wilson once said that ‘Congress in session                   beyond this standard, giving about a week’s
is Congress on public exhibition, while Congress in                  notice on each bill, but three days was the
its committee rooms is Congress at work.’ If Wilson                  rule. That gave Members plenty of time to
went from committee room to committee room today,                    gain an appropriate depth of knowledge and
he might take that statement back. Because the truth                 scrub each bill for potential landmines.
is, much of the work of committees has been co-opted
by the leadership. In too many instances, we no longer          •	   We also required that all votes be posted
have legislators; we just have voters.                               online within 48 hours of being cast. Believe
                                                                     it or not, committees are not currently
In my view, if we want to make legislators legislate again,          required to post these records at all, let alone
then we need to empower them at the committee level.                 within a certain time frame. If we posted
If Members were more engaged in their committee                      these records online, more Members would
work, they would be more invested in the final products              be inclined to do their jobs, attend committee
that come to the floor.                                              proceedings, and weigh in on a bill before it
                                                                     goes to the floor.
From 2001 to 2006, I had the privilege to serve as
                                                                •	   And third, any amendments had to be
chairman of the Education & Workforce committee.
                                                                     posted online within 24 hours after being
The ranking member at the time was George Miller
                                                                     adopted. We have seen in the past instances
of California. Now, no one would confuse me and
                                                                     where ‘phantom amendments’ are made
George Miller for ideological soulmates. But in just a
                                                                     to bills in committee after being voted on
few years, we were able to work together to transform
                                                                     without any accountability whatsoever.
our committee from a “backwater” panel that nobody
                                                                     That’s not acceptable.
wanted to be on to an active panel at the center of some
of the biggest issues of the day. By focusing on our work,
letting our members be legislators, and setting high          We should require that all committees meet these
standards, we were able to elevate the committee to its       standards. We should also require that all committees
proper role. There’s no reason every single committee         – especially the Rules Committee – webcast their
in the House can’t achieve the same thing.                    proceedings and post complete transcripts online –
                                                              with obvious exceptions for those panels dealing with
Much of this is up to committee chairmen and ranking          state secrets and classified information.
members themselves. If every chairman and ranking
member started with the mindset that their committee’s        To ensure there is proper oversight, Congress should
bill could be the one that comes to the floor, better         also review its internal committee structure and
legislation would result. Chairmen shouldn’t be               eliminate duplicative programs and jurisdictions. This
content to churn out flawed bills and then rely on            hasn’t been done in 15 years. Think about that. We
their leadership to bail them out. Chairmen should            can’t ask members to become more engaged if they sit
operate with the assumption that their bills are going        on three different committees and more than a handful
to be on the floor, and assume that once their bills are      of subcommittees. We currently have rules regarding
on the floor, they’ll be subject to an open rule. If all      member limitations, but of course they’re frequently
committee chairmen and ranking members had this               waived to have warm bodies in those slots. We need
mentality, the result would be better legislation, and        to rethink that.
better legislators.
                                                              An Ongoing and Inclusive Effort
At Education and Workforce, we operated with a set
of transparency rules that encouraged deliberation and        I know I’ve covered a lot of ground here, and thrown
limited problems:                                             out a lot of ideas. Some of them may get off the ground
                                                              in the next Congress; others may not. But it’s vital
  •	   First, we gave at least three days notice on all       that we have the discussion, and equally vital that the
       bills. Actually, we normally went above and            discussion start now.
           Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort. I           Let that be our goal: a people’s House that is
           don’t have all the answers, and wouldn’t pretend to. I        quiet in its effectiveness, but unmistakable in its
           welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker             pride and purpose.
           or citizen about how we can make this institution
           function again.                                               We should pursue this work as if the future of the
                                                                         institution depended on it – because it does.
           Americans who long for a better government must
           continue to speak out. And when they do, we                   Thank you for having me. I look forward to taking
           have to listen.                                               your questions.

           The People’s House

           Don’t confuse my enthusiasm for any illusion about
           how well these reforms will be received. I can remember
           early on in my career, as a member of the ‘Gang of
           Seven,’ how I would get long stares from Members
           – many of them in my own party. Some would walk
           the other way. Some would put themselves directly
           in my face.

           That’s probably the reaction I’ll get to some of the things
           I’ve talked about here today. But some changes have to
           be made, and we can’t keep kicking the can down the
           road. We’ve run out of road.

           It’s time to do what we say we’re going to do. For
           our constituents, our government, and the people’s
           House, settling for the ‘next best thing’ is no longer
           good enough.

           Exactly one hundred years ago, Uncle Joe Cannon –
           who ruled the House with an iron fist – faced a revolt
           from insurgent Republicans and Democrats. Even
           though his fall from power was imminent, Speaker
           Cannon refused to resign, calling it a ‘confession of
           weakness or mistake or an apology.’ That right there
           was Cannon’s mistake. That gavel, those powers – they
           weren’t his to use as a personal guard or shield. They
           were given to him to guard and shield the interests of
           the American people.

           So the Speakership foundered over the next decade,
           until late 1925, when Nick Longworth told the House
           on the day he was sworn in: ‘I want to effectively assist
           you in bringing about universal recognition of the fact
           that this House, closer as it is to the people than any
           similar body and more directly responsive to their will,
           is in very truth, as it ought to be, the most dominant
           legislative assembly in the world.’

33   Pillars of a New Majorit y | Congressional Reform
                             A New Way Forward
                              Speech to American Workers & Constituents
                                    West Chester, OH, October 2010

               “To help our economy create jobs, we have to stop all of the coming tax hikes
               and cut spending -- and to cut spending, we need to change Congress itself.
               My friends, this is a new way forward that hasn’t been tried in Washington.
               The Pledge to America is a break not only from the direction in which
               President Obama is headed, but also a break from the direction Republicans
               were headed when we last had the opportunity to govern. And I can promise
               you: if we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are going to do
               things differently. The American people deserve nothing less, and we will
               accept nothing less. I will accept nothing less.”

               – John Boehner

35   P i l l a r s o f a N e w M a j o r i t y | A N e w Wa y F o r w a r d
Remarks by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
         to American Workers & Constituents
                        NOTE: Written text may differ slightly from spoken remarks.
                               United Group Services, Butler County, Ohio
                                         Friday, October 8, 2010

         hanks, Mark, for that warm introduction.            Let me be crystal clear, it if isn’t clear already: this
         And thank you all for joining me today. I’m         speech is about jobs. And this speech is about jobs,
         happy to be here with you.                          because this coming election is about jobs.

Now some of may know this, but I grew up working             It’s about the jobs that were promised to the
in my dad’s tavern just a few miles down the road from       American people by the current administration, and
here. I mopped floors, waited tables, and tended bar.        never delivered.

I put myself through college by working odd jobs and         It’s about the jobs our economy should be creating right
night shifts, and eventually ran my own small business.      now, but isn’t creating, because of the policies coming
                                                             out of our Congress.
Back before I was representing the people of the
8th District of Ohio in the House of Representatives,        It’s about the jobs our children deserve in the future,
I was representing manufacturers in the packaging and        but may never have because Washington is burying
plastics industry.                                           them in a legacy of debt.

It wasn’t always the most glamorous work. But, like          This morning we got the latest national jobs report
millions of other Americans who’ve run a small business,     from the U.S. Department of Labor.
we poured heart and soul into making it successful.
                                                             It looks a lot like the reports we’ve seen every month
We got passionate about things like supplying                since President Obama signed his “stimulus” spending
component parts for a brand new, state-of-the-art            bill into law. Unemployment is high. Millions are out
industrial broom.                                            of work. Private-sector job creation is flat.

Yeah. . .that broom was virtually indestructible. I still    That’s what you got for your 787 billion dollars. Record
feel a little twinge of pride when I think about it.         high unemployment. A bigger government. And an
                                                             economy struggling to create jobs.
Now, you might chuckle about that. And sure, if you
weren’t around to witness it, this might seem a little       This upcoming election is a referendum. As Americans,
mundane. But to me back then, it meant the world.            we have to decide: do we want another two years
                                                             of job-killing policies out of Washington? Or have
It meant putting food on the table for my wife and kids,     we had enough?
and presents around the tree at Christmas.
                                                             I’m a small businessman at heart. Always will be.
It meant jobs and secure benefits for my employees.
It meant security for the present, and hope for              Running a small business here in Butler County was
the future.                                                  one of the proudest times of my life. And it gave me
                                                             a perspective on our country that I’ve carried with me
Every American who takes pride in their work can             throughout my time in public service.
relate to that. Whether you push a mop, run a backhoe,
lay shingles, tend bar, or even serve in the United States   Family-owned operations like my dad’s tavern, and
Congress - we Americans take pride in our jobs.              small businesses like mine and United Group Services,
                                                             are what power the American economy.
I did all of those things. I’ve had every quote-unquote
“rotten job” you can think of -- and I’ll tell you what, I   They employ a quarter of the workers in our country
was grateful to have every one of them.                      and created the majority of new jobs over the last
               Small businesses like these are essential to the American      For the past four years they’ve been running Congress.
               Dream. And right now that Dream is under siege.                For the past 20 months, they’ve controlled our entire
                                                                              government, from the White House to Capitol Hill.
               I ran for Congress back in 1990 because of what I saw          And for the past 20 months, they’ve done everything
               happening to small businesses in America.                      BUT focus on jobs.

               I got tired of watching Washington strangle the goose          Five hundred miles away from here in Washing-
               that laid the golden egg.                                      ton, a spending binge is going on that threatens
                                                                              our prosperity.
               The federal government was getting too big, too
               intrusive, and too expensive.                                  And small businesses, the engine of job creation in
                                                                              America, are gripped by uncertainty. Under President
               Politicians who had no understanding of the private            Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Washington
               sector talked about the importance of creating jobs,           has been throwing everything at them but the
               and then forced policies on American small businesses          kitchen sink.
               that made job creation harder.
                                                                              First it was a “stimulus” that shipped jobs overseas to
               Elected officials with no understanding of how our             China instead of creating jobs here at home.
               economy works spent money with reckless abandon,
               running up the deficit and telling us we could pay for         A few months later came the threat of a new national
               it all by raising taxes.                                       energy tax called “cap and trade.”

               It was clear they believed the engine of prosperity in         Then there was Obamacare, with its unconsti-
               America is government itself.                                  tutional mandates and job-killing tax hikes and
                                                                              paperwork requirements.
               The thinking went like this: if you want more jobs, then
               spend more money. Collect more taxes, and redistribute         And now President Obama and his team are supporting
               them from the federal level. Make government bigger.           a tax hike that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on
                                                                              Taxation says will raise taxes on 50 percent of the small
               If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the Obama        business income in America.
               Administration, this thinking may sound familiar.
               It’s not “new.” In fact there’s nothing “new” about it.        That means hundreds of thousands of private-sector
               And anyone who’s ever created a private sector job in          companies face the prospect of a job-killing tax hike on
               America can tell you it is dead wrong.                         January 1st. This company could be one of them.

               The truth of the matter is, our economy is built               Ladies and gentlemen, this is not what America asked
               on freedom.                                                    for when it entrusted Sen. Barack Obama with the
                                                                              Oval Office.
               You don’t get to prosperity by taking freedom away from
               the people who create jobs. You achieve prosperity by          The pink slips shouldn’t be going to workers here in
               getting government out of their way.                           Ohio. They should be going to the members of Barack
                                                                              Obama’s economic team.
               The greatest threat to job creation in our country is the
               flawed idea that we can tax, spend and borrow our way          At the health care summit last February, President
               to prosperity.                                                 Obama told us it’s OK to have deep philosophical
                                                                              differences and different visions for where we’d lead our
               The halls of power in our government right now are             country. “That’s what elections are for,” he said.
               filled with people stubbornly devoted to the tired old
               idea that government can create prosperity by spending         Over the past two years the governing party in
               and borrowing.                                                 Washington has been deeply committed to the tired

37   P i l l a r s o f a N e w M a j o r i t y | A N e w Wa y F o r w a r d
old notion that our nation can spend and borrow its         It didn’t happen. The Obama administration’s own
way back to prosperity.                                     chief actuary for Medicare and Medicaid says the
                                                            president’s health care law doesn’t lower costs; it raises
Twenty months ago, Americans were told that if we’d         them. And millions of Americans are about to be
just have the courage to let the government borrow          forced out of their health care plans.
about a trillion more dollars from our children and
grandchildren and then let Members of Congress and          The American people asked President Obama and
bureaucrats sprinkle that money around the country,         Nancy Pelosi to scrap the health care bill and start
magical things would happen.                                over on a smaller, common-sense plan our nation
                                                            could afford.
Unemployment would go no higher than 8 percent,
they told us, and millions of new jobs would be created     It didn’t happen. They ignored the people, and rammed
immediately, most of them jobs in the private sector.       it through.
It didn’t happen.
                                                            The people running Washington haven’t been listening.
The president and his allies went behind closed doors       The people say one thing, and their government
and wrote the biggest pork-barrel spending bill in          does another.
American history.
                                                            People keep asking me – John, what can we do
They rushed it through Congress without giving              about it?
legislators the chance to read it, much less the
American people.                                            Well, my friends, as the president said: that’s what
                                                            elections are for.
They mocked us for asking for more time to let
Americans see what was actually in the bill, and told       Americans have been crystal clear about what they
us we were committing political suicide by opposing         want: more jobs, less spending, and a more open
it. My colleagues and I stood united, together, and         Congress that respects and abides by the Constitution.
voted no.
                                                            If those things are going to happen, then we need a new
They promised all the spending would “stimulate” the        majority in Congress that will stand up to President
economy and create jobs right away.                         Barack Obama and insist that he start listening to
                                                            the people.
It didn’t happen.
                                                            Back in May, my colleagues and I launched a project
Asked to change his economic team and stop the              called America Speaking Out. The goal was to craft
spending spree in Washington, the president refused,        a new governing agenda for America by listening to
promoted one of the architects of his failed “stimulus”     the people.
policies, and requested more “stimulus” spending for
next year.                                                  We spent the whole summer doing that, here in the
                                                            8th District of Ohio and across the country. And two
Americans said “stop.” But no one stopped. The              weeks ago, we unveiled the product of that effort. We
president and his party just kept on spending.              call it A Pledge to America.

The same thing happened on health care.                     The Pledge is not an all-inclusive party platform. Nor is
                                                            it a long-range agenda to address every challenge under
The president and his allies promised Americans a           the sun.
health care bill that would lower health care costs. They
also promised nobody would be forced out of their           The Pledge is a set of first priorities – actions the
current health care plan. The president said “if you like   American people are demanding be taken right now.
your current health care plan, you can keep it.”            Things we could do right now – today – if Nancy Pelosi
               would call the House back into session and bring them          My friends, this is a new way forward that hasn’t been
               to a vote.                                                     tried in Washington.

               There’s a job creation plan that starts with stopping          The Pledge to America is a break not only from the
               all the tax hikes and eliminating uncertainty for small        direction in which President Obama is headed, but also
               businesses like this one, to help them get back to             a break from the direction Republicans were headed
               creating jobs.                                                 when we last had the opportunity to govern.

               We want to give small businesses a deduction equal to          And I can promise you: if we’re entrusted with the
               20 percent of their income so they have the money to           opportunity to govern, we are going to do things
               start hiring.                                                  differently. The American people deserve nothing
                                                                              less, and we will accept nothing less. I will accept
               There’s a plan to end the spending spree in Washington         nothing less.
               that’s hurting our economy and hurting our
               children’s future.                                             In the Preamble to the Pledge to America, we state:

               Our plan cuts spending immediately, back to pre-               “America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free
               stimulus, pre-bailout levels. Then we impose strict,           and have the ability and the dignity to determine their
               enforceable budget caps to keep things from getting            own destiny.
               out of control again.
                                                                              “Whenever the agenda of government becomes
               There’s a plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with         destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
               common-sense reforms that will lower health care               people to institute a new governing agenda and set a
               costs instead of killing jobs and driving our country          different course.
               into bankruptcy.
                                                                              “These first principles were proclaimed in the
               And there’s a plan to make changes to Congress itself.         Declaration of Independence, enshrined in the
                                                                              Constitution, and have endured through hard sacrifice
               The American people deserve the respect of being               and commitment by generations of Americans.
               allowed to read the bills the House is working on before
               they come to a vote. The Pledge would guarantee them           “In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against
               that right.                                                    the power of the state is the consent of the governed,
                                                                              and regarding the policies of the current government,
               The Pledge also calls for changes in House rules to make       the governed do not consent.”
               spending cuts easier and spending hikes harder.
                                                                              Ladies and gentlemen, your government hasn’t
               And we’re calling for an end to so-called “comprehensive”      been listening.
               bills that lump together issues that have nothing to do
               with each other.                                               Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your
                                                                              job, your children.
               The very structure of Congress right now is rigged
               in favor of spending. If we’re going to confront the           Your government is out of control.
               massive challenges that lie ahead for our country, the
               American people understand this has to change.                 Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it?

               The bottom line is this: to help our economy create            Hell no you don’t! That’s what elections are for!
               jobs, we have to stop all of the coming tax hikes and
               cut spending -- and to cut spending, we need to change         In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote that “we have
               Congress itself.                                               it in our power to begin the world over again.”

39   P i l l a r s o f a N e w M a j o r i t y | A N e w Wa y F o r w a r d
In just 25 days, voters will have a chance to do just that.
And I’m not just talking about Republican voters.
Republicans, independents, discerning Democrats –
all of us have a chance to come together and put our
country back on track.

We can start over.

We can help small businesses get back to creating jobs.
We can cut spending. And we can fundamentally
change the way Washington does business.

It starts with putting a new majority in charge of the
United States Congress on November 2nd, and sending
Nancy Pelosi back to San Francisco.

Here in the 8th District of Ohio and across our nation,
Americans are speaking out like never before.

I’m honored and humbled to represent this great
community in Congress, and I ask for the honor of
your vote again on November 2nd so we can give our
nation the fresh start it needs.

The government our children deserve is within our
grasp. It starts next month – and it starts with throwing
out the politicians who aren’t listening and giving a
chance to a new Congress that will.

Thank you very much. God Bless you.
“I can promise you: if we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are
going to do things differently. The American people deserve nothing less,
and we will accept nothing less. I will accept nothing less.”
                                                      – John Boehner
Paid for by Friends of John Boehner.
               Not printed at taxpayer expense.

Shared By: