All across our country, the American people are speaking out. Unfortunately, Washington hasn't been listening. When you look at all the spending, all the government overreaching and all the debt, it's clear that Washington has been doing what's best for Washington - not what's best for America.
That's why House Republicans are inviting the American people to take part in an unprecedented initiative to change the way Washington works.
This project, "America Speaking Out," is centered around a state-of-the-art Web site where all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, can share their ideas for addressing the nation's challenges. Once entered, these suggestions don't simply vanish into a "thanks for your submission" vacuum. Every idea is debated, discussed and voted on in an open and transparent forum that utilizes the best social media tools.
Lawmakers are among those commenting and offering insights, but their access to the site is no different from anyone else's. Hundreds of thousands have already logged on at AmericaSpeakingOut.com to make their voices heard.
This fearless conversation isn't just occurring on the Internet: At America Speaking Out town hall meetings around the country, citizens are being invited to add their ideas to this national conversation.
These exchanges will ultimately serve as the building blocks for common-sense solutions we will introduce in Congress. This is a far cry from Washington's current practice of passing hugely consequential and expensive bills that no one has even had a chance to read. Legislation lives or dies based on whether the right backroom deal can be cut with the most powerful special interests.
Every day, I meet hard-working taxpayers who wonder when it's their turn to be a special interest. They are homeowners who struggle to make mortgage payments on time only to see those who borrowed well beyond their means receive government bailouts. They are small business owners who can't get a loan, yet the government continues to borrow money hand over fist and pile debt on our kids and grandkids. They are taxpayers who send more and more of their hard-earned money to Washington each year only to get less and less in return.
The trillion-dollar "stimulus," passed amid promises to create millions of jobs and keep unemployment low, hasn't. The new health care law, which supporters claimed would lower Americans' health care costs, won't.
After spending taxpayer dollars with reckless abandon to push our national debt past $13 trillion, Democrats aren't even planning to propose a budget. Every family in America knows that in tough times a budget is more important - not less - but apparently that doesn't apply to Washington.
The American people's faith in their government has been steadily whittled down by a Washington power structure that has grown too arrogant and too insular. Promises are made, promises are broken and nothing ever changes. If anything, things just get worse.
Republicans have stood on principle to fight this misguided agenda and offer better solutions rooted in principles of smaller, more accountable government, economic freedom and fiscal responsibility. These are the principles we were elected to defend and will continue to fight for. But we also realize that above all we work for the American people, so you deserve a chance to have your say. That's what America Speaking Out is all about.