In southwest Ohio and across the country, the American people are speaking out. They are fed up with all of the taxes, wasteful government spending, and job-killing policies. Worst of all, they don’t think Washington is listening – or that it even cares what they think.
Last September, I attended a rally at Voice of America Park in West Chester with 18,000 fellow Ohioans who were gravely concerned by the president’s costly health care plan, and Washington’s out-of-control spending. These regular moms and dads, small business owners, doctors and lawyers had a simple message: ‘enough is enough.’
This message of anger and frustration has only grown in the weeks and months since that fall day, as the American people have watched with disgust as the majority party in Congress proves time and time again it is willing to ignore the will of the people and resort to arm twisting, backroom deals, and special-interest kickbacks to force bills into law.
The American people have had it with the disconnect in Washington. They want Congress to listen, and they want a say in their government.
That’s why House Republicans are inviting the American people to participate in a new and innovative initiative to change the way Washington works. Called America Speaking Out, this new project utilizes the latest technology to open the halls of Congress to Americans in every corner of our nation. [# More #]
At AmericaSpeakingOut.com, you can submit policy ideas, vote for ideas you like, and discuss your priorities in issue areas like American values, fiscal accountability, national security and American prosperity.
Hundreds of thousands have already visited AmericaSpeakingOut.com to engage in the debate. For example, one user says ‘Stop the pork: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark.’ Discussing health care, another says ‘Tort reform has to be part of the discussion. Increased prices are buried at every level from material suppliers to hospitals to help cover the potential costs of liability.’
All ideas offered genuinely and respectfully are welcome and open for discussion – your imagination is the limit. In one recent post, a user suggests that lawmakers be required ‘to eat supper with members of the opposite party every night’ to build trust and strengthen relationships with members across the aisle.
If you aren’t tech savvy, or don’t have internet access, don’t worry. America Speaking Out is more than just a Web site – it’s a philosophy that every American deserves to have a voice. So feel free to drop by one of my Open Door sessions, call my office, or drop a letter into the mail, and we’ll see to it that your suggestions get added to the conversation.
Eventually these ideas will be used to help craft common-sense legislation that we will offer on the floor of the House this year to address the challenges that American families and small businesses are facing every day. This is a far cry from Washington’s current practice of passing massive, far-reaching bills that no one has even had a chance to read.
All year long, House Republicans have stood up in opposition to the majority’s misguided agenda, and offered better solutions rooted in our principles of limited, more accountable government; economic freedom; lower taxes; fiscal responsibility; protecting life, American values, and the Constitution; and providing for strong national security. We won’t step away from these principles, but we want the American people to have a say in how we apply them. That’s what America Speaking Out is all about.
So log on to AmericaSpeakingOut.com, submit an idea, and join your friends and neighbors in the discussion. Together we can strengthen our communities, and build a new agenda for America that reflects your priorities and concerns.
John Boehner represents the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio.