Ways & Means Member Promotes Transparency

Posted: Nov 20, 2008 1:24 PM

Congressman Wally Herger (R.-Calif.). He is seeking the position of Ranking Member on the House Ways & Means Committee

As a longtime member of the powerful Ways and Means committee Rep. Wally Herger (R.-Calif.) thinks it’s time to start speaking directly to the public what his committee does and how it will impact their day-to-day lives.

“We need to do a better job communicating with the grassroots,” Herger said. “The issues before Ways and Means are free trade agreements, taxes, entitlements and we have a chairman who promised to put across the mother of all tax hikes.”

The chairman Herger referred to is the ultra-liberal Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.) who currently leads the only committee designated with the authority to raise taxes. The Constitution dictates all revenue-raising bills must originate from the House and that duty is delegated to the Ways & Means Committee. Therefore, Rangel has a tremendous amount of control of tax policy.

Herger would like to be Rangel’s Republican counterpart as the new Ranking Member of the committee. And he’d like to rally support for conservative positions on Ways & Means issues through a new website created with the purpose of making complex legislation easier to understand.

“We can be friendly but we can very aggressively go out, and as Paul Harvey says, tell the rest of the story” through the website Herger said.

Herger lays out the reasons for he should be selected on his site which contains detailed position statements on taxes, entitlement reform, trade and health care and his conservative approaches of governance in each of those areas.

The California congressman is challenging Rep. Dave Camp (R.-Mich.) for the slot as Ranking Member of the committee. As a Way & Means member Herger has consistently voted for balanced budgets and lower taxes. He has a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 96 percent to Camp’s 89 percent.

The Ranking Member will be selected by the Republican Steering Committee which is comprised sometime in early December.

Herger said will continue his online outreach on Ways & Means issues regardless of whether he becomes Ranking Member or not.