The New Speaker and the New Political Reality
Today’s interviews are with three GOP Congressmen who will have a great deal to do with the success or failure of the 112th Congressman.
Hal Rogers of Kentucky will chair Appropriations. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania will chair the Health subcommittee of Energy and Commerce. And Jeb Henserling takes over the GOP Conference from Mike Pence, and is tasked with coordinating the communications of the Republican caucus.
Speaker Boehner has been given a unique opportunity at a unique moment in American history, when voters are actually ready for austerity and when a majority is genuinely committed to shrinking government. When the Speaker declared yesterday that “this is the people’s House,” he found a great theme for the next two years. He continued:
This is their Congress. It’s about them, not us. What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.
Obamacare was a massive breach of the trust the American people put in their representatives. So too is Team Obama’s contempt for the ordinary processes of constitutional government, with his tsars and his far-ranging agency agendas like the cap-and-trade-by-decree that is unfolding out from EPA. The astonishing levels of spending must end, and at the same America’s missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the globe cannot be compromised.
Speaker Boehner is very much the counter-force to a hard-left president, the most liberal chief executive the country has ever had, and the one least equipped for the enormous responsibilities he must exercise. Boehner cannot simply turn on an attack machine as the country is too weak to watch a replay of the Clinton-Gingrich saga, but at the same time he must wrest real change from a stubborn and increasingly insecure president who has seen his entire “first team” jump ship.
John Boehner has an enormously difficult task before him. It is a rare moment when a Speaker actually approaches a president in authority and importance, and the the MSM is ready to turn the next 10 months into a soap opera with Boehner as the bad guy. The new Speaker seems to savvy to fall into such a trap, but every Republican member can take the party there in the space of a news cycle.
Pray for discipline and a sense-of-priority among the members of the GOP caucus, for their sake, the sake of the Speaker, and much more importantly for the good of the country.
The transcript of yesterday’s conversation with incoming chair of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan is here. The transcript of today’s interview with Chairman Rogers will be posted here later. The importance of the willingness of these two to work together and towards the common goal of the rescue of the fiscal integrity of the United States cannot be overstated.