John Boehner

In November, House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, triumphantly declared that “Democrats are prepared to govern and ready to lead.” She said Democrats would make the 110th Congress “the most honest, ethical and open Congress in history.” That was then.

It’s already June and those promises remain completely unfulfilled. In fact, the biggest problem facing House Democrats is their fondness for making promises — promises they can’t make good on or never had any intention of keeping.

Sure, you say, politicians make a lot of promises — but they usually keep at least a few of them. A report released last week by House Republicans — titled “The Top 100 Broken Promises by Democrats” — chronicles the astonishing divide between what congressional Democrats promised and what they’ve actually delivered. The leaders of the current majority promised they would run the “most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history.” What they’ve delivered is a more closed, intellectually dishonest and ethically ambivalent legislature — precisely the opposite of what the American people thought they were getting.

The Democrats have been entirely unable to govern and their string of broken promises has left few accomplishments of which to speak. Indeed, nearly half of the 39 bills signed into law either name federal property or build a road.

Not surprisingly, Gallup last week showed that just 14 percent of Americans — an all-time low — have confidence in this Congress. The previous low point for Congress was 18 percent at several points in the time period from 1991 to 1994, the last time Democrats were in power. Republicans recognize these numbers are a reflection on all of us. But unlike the Democrats, Republicans have demonstrated in recent months that we recognize the need to restore the bonds of trust between the American people and their elected leaders. We got the message, and we got it the hard way. House Republicans have kept the promise we made to the American people six months ago to return to our core principles and focus on the need for smaller, less costly and more accountable government. And where the majority fails to lead, Republicans are stepping up.

One of the only meaningful accomplishments of this Congress to date has been legislation enacted to fully fund American troops fighting radical jihadists — a bill that was carried on the strength of a unified Republican Party.

John Boehner

John Boehner is the Republican Minority Leader for the House of Representatives.

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