It’s been quite a month to kick off a big year here in Congress, ending in a snowstorm that stopped the capital city in its tracks. But the House is just getting started. Our goal is to earn a mandate from the American people to get our country back on track in 2017 and beyond. But to do that, we have to make 2016 about:
1. Speaking Truth to Power
Part of our responsibility is to be an opposition party to the President Obama’s final push to cement his legacy. We’ve already had victories to hold him accountable. In the first seven years, the president has only had to veto seven bills, due to Senate Democrats’ blocks. However, in the first month of his final year, Congress has already forced the president to veto two pieces of legislation, having 2016 coined as the Year of the Veto.
Paul Ryan draws Obama into veto war to show voters what’s at stake in 2016. “President Obama’s last year in office is shaping up as the Year of the Veto. After vetoing only seven bills over the first seven years of his presidency, Mr. Obama has vetoed two measures already in January, What’s more, the White House has issued veto threats against all five pieces of legislation to come out of the House since Jan. 1. . . . The Wisconsin Republican said this week that Mr. Obama’s agenda is out of step with most of America. The president, he said, is “trying to make it look like his program is mainstream.” (Washington Times)
The president’s program is not mainstream, and we’re holding him accountable for it. We have forced the president to confront Congress’s full repeal of the President’s disastrous Obamacare law and a congressional rejection of his EPA’s regulatory overreach. We won’t stop there.
2. Getting the House Working Again
2016 is going to be about ideas. We’re going to be a proposition party. To do that, we have got to get the people’s House working again. We are going back to regular order. The members are offering their ideas and crafting meaningful legislation. We’re going to have hearings, have amendments, work through the committees.
“Paul Ryan is saying the right thing: ‘Look, we’re going to get away from top-down leadership in the Congress. We’re going to let it come up from the bottom more. And we’re going to work with the committee chairmen and the members on both sides.’” – Former Sen. Trent Lott on Morning Joe
3. Crafting a Bold, Pro-Growth Agenda
A clear, bold agenda gives Americans a choice, not just in personality and style, but in substance. Congress is going to producing an agenda, driven by the members, that lays out what the GOP stands for. We’ve decided on our core issues in our agenda: national security, jobs and economic growth, health care, poverty and opportunity, and constitutional authority.
This is a choice between the progressive policies of the Left and the constitutional principles of conservatism. That clear choice in substance is what constitutes a mandate from the people. The House GOP agenda rolled out this spring will build a contrast between President Obama’s myopic vision of the world and the GOP’s vision of a confident America, with a reignited enthusiasm for the American Idea.