Less than three weeks into the 112th Congress, the new House majority has kept its Pledge to America to focus on removing barriers to job growth and ending Washington’s job-crushing spending binge. Even with legislative activity postponed for one week out of respect to the victims of the tragedy in Arizona, the House has already taken action to:
- Make it easier to cut spending – and harder to increase spending: Stopping Washington’s job-crushing spending binge began on Day One when the House adopted new rules to make spending cuts much easier. The new cut-as-you-go (“cut-go”) rule requires any new mandatory spending be offset with spending cuts - not tax hikes. And legislation must now show a long-term budget impact to prevent lawmakers from using accounting gimmicks and sleight of hand to hide the true cost of big government proposals (as was done with the health care law passed last year).
- Repeal the job-destroying health care law: As Speaker Boehner has said, repealing ObamaCare is about cutting spending and removing barriers to job growth. The speaker employed the “#hcrcostsjobs” hashtag to draw emphasis to the health care law’s impact on families and small businesses. Full repeal would cut $540 billion in projected spending, prevent roughly $770 in tax hikes on families and small businesses, and eliminate a maze of job-stifling red tape being crafted by unelected bureaucrats. More than half the states are now challenging the law in court. And job creators, economists, and state legislators representing millions of taxpayers have all spoken out in recent days in support of repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with reforms that will lower health care costs and protect jobs – a process that began this week.
- Rein in the red tape factory in Washington, DC: Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) introduced the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act to help end some of the uncertainty facing job creators on account of job-stifling red tape. The bill would require an up-or-down vote by Congress on major federal rules and regulations – written by unelected bureaucrats – that have an economic impact of at least $100 million.
- Cut Congress’ budget: Leading by example, the House of Representatives cut its budget by $35 million, fulfilling the pledge to “make Congress do more with less...” With record deficits and an unemployment rate near double-digits, every dollar of the people’s money saved now is a dollar that isn’t borrowed and owed by our children and grandchildren in the form of higher taxes.
- Hold weekly votes on spending cuts: Every dollar counts, and the House has already begun replacing Congress’ culture of spending with a culture of saving – first by cutting its budget, and then by saving taxpayers millions of dollars by eliminating needless paper copies of legislation. These were just the first of many spending cuts to come.
And earlier today, Speaker Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that they have selected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to deliver the Republican address to the nation following President Obama's State of the Union speech next week. Chairman Ryan will lead a critical effort in the House this year to start cutting up the credit cards that have been abused by Washington Democrats as part of a job-crushing spending binge.
This is just the beginning. To find out what’s to come, all you need to do is look to the Pledge to America. As Speaker Boehner has vowed: “the Pledge is the plan.” In the drive to stop the job-crushing spending binge and remove government barriers to job growth, the House of Representatives will be focusing on:
- Cutting government spending back to pre-“stimulus,” pre-bailout levels: The Washington Post reported this morning that “Backed by tea party supporters, Republicans have made spending cuts a cornerstone of their new majority and are moving along several tracks to accomplish their objectives.” Next week, the new majority will give President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate the opportunity to “cut up their credit card" by passing a measure directing committees to cut spending in the areas that need it most.
- Engaging in effective oversight to eliminate and prevent regulations that hurt job growth: In his remarks to the opening session of the 112th Congress, Speaker Boehner pledged that “[c]ommittees, once bloated, will be smaller, with a renewed mission, including oversight.” And Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) explained this week that, “Our oversight efforts will not only review and cut current regulations, but work to end pending detrimental rules and regulations from going into effect, and ensure that the culture of bureaucracy and big-government rulemaking in Washington is no longer the norm so that people can start getting back to work.”
- Sun-setting outdated & duplicative programs: The House Energy & Commerce Committee, for example, is requiring that “[e]very program authorized or reauthorized … will have a sunset date of not more than seven years.” As noted in the Pledge, such requirements will “force Congress to determine if a program is worthy of continued taxpayer support.”
- Repealing job-destroying small business mandates, ending government control (and taxpayer bailouts of) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and much, much more.
Stay connected with the Office of the Speaker on Facebook, Twitter, and here on Speaker.gov as the new majority works to keep its Pledge to America and focus on reforms that reflect the priorities of the American people: less sending and more jobs.