House Minority leader, Representative John Boehner (OH-8) took some time today to speak with a few Ohio Bloggers on a conference call.
He spoke briefly as to what he sees as his role as the Minority leader, namely to earn back control of the Congress, but also he spoke a bit about bringing the GOP back to their roots and values such as limited spending, smaller government and accountability.
Very early in the call, The Minority leader spoke with us about the Democrats rules that will allow for earmarks to go unchallenged and hidden from public scrutiny. Taken from Rep. Boehner’s press release regarding this:
Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) and other House GOP leaders today introduced a resolution that would force the Democratic leadership in the House to restore Republican earmark reforms enacted last year. Democrats, led by Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI), have gutted those earmark reforms this year, refusing to allow members to challenge potentially wasteful spending on the House floor and instead setting up multi-billion dollar slush funds for secret earmarks.
"The earmark process outlined yesterday by Mr. Obey is a sham. Democrats are keeping earmark requests secret until after the House has considered appropriations spending bills, preventing us from debating earmarks on the House floor and subjecting them to scrutiny. They want the House to approve massive slush funds for secret earmarks - billions of dollars for whatever Rep. Obey and his colleagues to spend as they see fit. This isn't transparent. This isn't accountable. It is outrageous, and Republicans are going to fight it on behalf of American taxpayers.“
It is important to understand that there is no better proponent for this since, as he said to us today, "I don’t do earmarks, you know that. Never asked for one. Never got one"
One blogger asked how he might get Democrats to vote for earmark reforms to be re-instated. Rep. Boehner explained that he knows a lot of Democrats would vote for… If it were ALLOWED to be brought to the floor for a vote.
When asked if the Democrats simply were faster to be failures than the Republicans were when they were in control, Rep. Boehner explained that he understands that sentiment and that it is no large leap to understand that the GHOP lost its way around 2006. he said the problem was a focus on power more so than principals re-stating that he sees that bringing the Congressional GOP back to their principals is a primary job for his office.
A few other topics were touch on including the immigration reform ill which he says he does not see coming back and that “President Bush knows how I feel about [that bill]”.
He also spoke a bit about the Democrats deep desire to raise taxes pointing out that there is a $392.5 billion hole in their budget that can only be filled by either cutting spending (ha ha) or raising taxes.
When asked about the possibilities of the democrats putting up a fight for Ohio’s First District (Rep. Steve Chabot), Rep. Boehner was quick to say that he has a lot confidence in Rep. Chabot and that everyone on congress, especially on the left knows how much of a work horse he is and the record that he has made over decades of serving the first.
When asked about Ohio’s Rep. Jean Schmitt (OH-2) and the possibilities of a Republican challenger, Rep. Boehner tried to stay out of that one. He did say that it is up to the voters and, “I hear the buzz… I read the newspapers. Jean’s doing a nice job, but I don’t vote in that district, so…”
Not as supportive, at least that was how I heard it.
I want to thank Representative Boehner for taking the time to talk with us and thank Jessica for arranging it!
Others were on the conference call of course and have some great posts about it inclduing:
-Right on the Right