Keeping the Pledge to America: GOP-Led House Committed to Unprecedented Openness
When Republicans unveiled their Pledge to America last year, they promised if they were entrusted with the responsibility to govern in the People’s House, they would bring an unprecedented amount of openness and transparency that has been sorely lacking under both Democrat and Republican control. Today the House will continue consideration of a continuing resolution (H.R. 1) to fund the government for the next seven months under an open process allowing amendments to cut spending, keeping the Pledge to America’s commitment to an “open process that makes it easier – not harder” to cut spending. The Hill has the details:
“More than 400 amendments have been filed to the House GOP bill funding the government for 2011. The amendments include proposals to defund last year's healthcare law, prevent federal employees from flying first-class and prohibit the Defense Department's sponsorship of NASCAR. The House is set to begin sorting through the amendments on Tuesday. GOP leaders are allowing unlimited amendments on the floor for the continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of September.”
This is a marked departure from business as usual in Washington -- where not a single spending bill was considered under an open process in the past two years. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week on H.R. 1's unprecedented openness: “The bill will be read, paragraph by paragraph, on the House floor. When a member of either party wants to offer an amendment, he or she can rise and do so—as long as it’s relevant to the paragraph being read. At that point, any lawmaker can speak for five minutes — for or against the amendment. Republican leaders boast that it’s a highly inclusive approach. ‘This is an open process,’ said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.). ‘Every member will have an opportunity to submit his or her vision of how we can reduce the deficit.’”
And the New York Times noted yesterday that the cuts in H.R. 1 are only a starting point:
“The Republican leadership promised, in the words of Speaker John A. Boehner, ‘more cuts to come.’ ‘We need to liberate our economy from the shackles of big government, not bury our children and grandchildren under a mountain of debt,’ Mr. Boehner said. As a sign of the emphasis Republicans have put on the spending cuts, the spending measure is listed as House Resolution No. 1.”
As Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said last year in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, “we should open things up and let the battle of ideas help break down the scar tissue between the two parties. Yes, we will still have disagreements. But let's have them out in the open. Yes, we will still try to outmaneuver each other. But let's make it a fair fight. Instead of selling our Members short, let's give them a chance to do their jobs. Let's let legislators legislate again.”
The New Majority is committed to an open process that reflects the will of the people – and that starts with cutting spending to help create a better environment for job creation and economic growth.