‘Both Parties Are Guilty,’ Boehner Says at CPAC

February 19, 2010 - 10:58 AM
At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said both political parties are guilty of not listening closely to the American people, but now with technology and the surge in grassroots conservatism, there is a chance to change how Washington works.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged that Americans can count on him to change the way Congress works if Republicans take the House in the coming elections.  He also stressed that he is “serious” about listening to “those who are really in charge of this country:  the American people.”
 
“For too long, under Democrats and Republicans alike, Congress has been too closed and too insular,” said Boehner before a large crowd on Thursday afternoon.  “Both parties are guilty.  I want to change it.  I’ve wanted to change it for a long time.  And now we have a chance to do it.”
 
The 2010 CPAC is being held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., Feb. 18 -20.
 
“While the other side is busy mocking the tea partiers and calling them names, we’re going to listen to them, stand with them, and walk among them,” Boehner said.
 
Boehner, who was first elected in 1990 and is now in his 10th term as a member of the House of Representatives, went on to explain how a new Republican majority in the House would govern differently than the Democrats and from previous Congresses altogether.
 
“We’re going to get the reform movement started again,” said Boehner.  “One of my first orders of business will be to post every bill online for at least three days before a vote.”
 
“We will require our committees to quickly post all bills and votes online, and will outlaw ‘phantom amendments,’” he said. “We will put cameras in the Rules Committee hearing room so Americans can see how decisions are made about what bills come to a vote.”
 
 “We’ll ban the practice of ‘airdropping’ earmarks into bills at the last possible minute to dodge public scrutiny,” said Boehner, and “we’ll outlaw ‘monuments to me,’ where legislators use your tax money to build projects named after themselves.”
 
Boehner continued: “And we’ll take better advantage of new technology to continue to break down the walls between citizens and legislators, and to make our Congress more transparent and accountable to the American people.” 
 
“This is all part of our new Congressional Transparency Initiative,” Boehner said.  “And I’m serious about it.  Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon, the new chairman of our leadership team, is heading it up.”
 
Boehner emphasized what Republicans will do to demonstrate they are listening to the American people.
 
He stated, “We’re going to listen to things like the ‘Contract FROM America.’   We’re going to listen to things like the Mount Vernon Statement.  We’re going to listen to the tea party movement.  It will come from those who are really in charge of this country:  the American people.  While the other side is busy mocking the tea partiers and calling them names, we’re going to listen to them, stand with them, and walk among them.”
Boehner continued, “In the months ahead, we’re going to tell the nation exactly what we’d do differently if we’re entrusted with this power.  But it won’t be a document handed down from on high by politicians, because something like that would land with a big thud.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy will lead this project on behalf of all House Republicans.”
 
CPAC is hosted annually by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and is co-sponsored by more than 90 other conservative organizations.  CPAC is headquartered at the ACUF and it is the American Conservative Union Foundation’s largest annual conference.  Last year, CPAC’s attendance was 8,500.  Organizers estimate that up to 12,000 will attend this year.