Nearly five years ago, I joined the rest of the newly elected freshman Republican class of 2010 as we sat in the Library of Congress and listened intently to incoming Speaker John Boehner.
Here’s what Boehner promised us: a new House that listens to the American people. No longer would members of Congress be punished for representing our constituents, voting our consciences or the Constitution. Instead, the House would be open for debate, be respectful, and pass new laws reflecting conservative principles, not campaign contributions.
After the Tea Party wave election of 2010, Boehner’s words seemed real. But what made them believable was the Pledge to America. In this national Pledge, Boehner and his team promised to ‘do away with the old politics’ and offered a concrete agenda of conservative items that WOULD be achieved under Speaker Boehner.
So what did America get since then – certainly not Boehner’s Pledge. Federal spending is higher than ever. More national debt. Record high taxes. An ever-more intrusive bureaucracy. Obama still issuing executive orders and secret deals. An unelected Supreme Court imposing their will. Obamacare and his amnesty fully funded. And in Boehner’s House, last-minute massive spending bills still are passed, debate remains stifled, and the status quo Establishment is still in charge.
Shortly after Romney blew the 2012 election, Boehner – instead of renewing efforts to stall Obama – turned his vengeance on conservatives both in the House and across America. Using a secret scorecard, Boehner targeted four conservatives without warning and did what Speaker Pelosi never did – kicked members off their committees. Every Republican got the message: anyone who crosses Boehner and the rest of the DC Establishment would be punished. So much for getting rid of old politics.
Since 2012, Boehner’s attacks on conservatives have only worsened. Now dozens of conservatives have been kicked off or denied key committees, our bills spiked, lobbyists warned not to support us, primary opponents recruited, and a Super PAC affiliated with Boehner even spent millions slandering us for defunding Obama’s illegal amnesty. All the while Boehner publicly slams conservative organizations striving for conservative policies. This is not the way to run any institution, organization or party – especially one that claims to represent the American people.
Now with Speaker Boehner suddenly quitting his job, Washington Republicans have only two choices: either they can actually follow through on the 2010 Pledge to listen to and obey the American people or they can once again change one set of leaders for another. I know what the Establishment wants, and let’s hope they don’t get it.