Kevin McCarthy’s election as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives didn’t come easy, but selecting a new leader of the legislative branch of government should never be a rubber stamp. It’s an extraordinarily powerful position that sets America’s policy agenda and controls the fate of literally trillions in taxpayer dollars so it ought to garner some meaningful debate.
Watching twenty courageous conservative representatives use the speaker’s election to fight for long overdue reforms and a return to regular order in the People’s House is a terrific reminder that not all heroes wear capes. Congressmen Chip Roy, Scott Perry, Andy Harris and a handful of other principled members are owed a huge debt of gratitude.
Per usual, the mainstream media got it all wrong. What happened on the House floor this week wasn’t chaos or dysfunction — it was our beautiful democracy, the mess and all.
Americans shouldn’t be concerned that all 434 members were on the House floor openly debating a critically important issue for several days straight, they should celebrate it. I believe that it’s the hallmark of a healthy constitutional republic.
These twenty members of the Republican caucus in the House who confronted the failed status quo in Washington understand that Congress has a 27% approval rating for a reason.
It’s because the institution has been malfunctioning for a very long time as party leaders’ bad decisions and abuse of power have become business as usual. These twenty conservative stalwarts know that all the irresponsible spending is unsustainable and must come to an end. They represent the American people who demand accountability and fiscal responsibility.
The truth is that congressional leaders of yesteryear — from both parties — would be appalled at how the House and Senate function today. How did we go from a balanced budget and a $5 trillion national debt in 2001 to exploding annual deficits and a $31.4 trillion national debt in just 22 years?
Look no further than last month’s omnibus spending bill debacle as an example. The 4,000 page, $1.7 trillion monstrosity that dropped in the dead of night and passed with little to no debate was just a continuation of the tone deaf posture of career Washington politicians managing America’s economic decay.
However, what proponents of the recent $1.7 trillion heist didn’t anticipate was twenty steel spine House Members having the guts to capitalize on the timing of the reckless omnibus bill’s passage to highlight our broken federal government. What they’ve done this week amounts to an enormous public service and sends a clear signal that they won’t back down in future fights like the debt ceiling.
The few extra days of good faith negotiating that it took to get U.S. House rules back to some semblance of normalcy was well worth it.
Watching Congress return to responsible budgeting, transparent in-person debates, committee-driven appropriations and amendment processes, and having a mechanism to remove the speaker will be welcomed by the American people with open arms.
Forging an agreement to hold votes on ultra-popular reforms like term limits and balanced budgets only happened because twenty brave members were willing to stick their necks out for the forgotten men and women in America.
These two items alone could dramatically change America’s downward trajectory. The vast majority of the American people support common sense changes such as this and they deserve to know who in Congress is voting to reform Washington and who is voting with the DC swamp.
In politics timing is everything. And in this case, the timing of the omnibus bill and the election of speaker in a divided Congress created an opportunity to challenge the failed status quo in Washington and do something about our exploding national debt.
Twenty GOP heroes decided to step up and seize the day. Americans who are sick and tired of the “same old, same old” should celebrate today because common sense and fiscal sanity came out on top for a change.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President in 2016. @David_Bossie @Citizens_United