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 Foreword 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 AmericaSpeakingOut.com, 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 AmericaSpeakingOut.com, 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 T 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 AmericaSpeakingOut.com, 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 T 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. Closing 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 welcome. 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 T 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 decade. 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. www.JohnBoehner.com Not printed at taxpayer expense.