“You will not have the right to willfully disrupt the proceedings of the people’s House, but you will always have the right to a robust debate and an open process that allows you to represent your constituents, to make your case, offer alternatives and be heard,” Boehner said.
Democrats have blasted the GOP rules package all week, charging that it promotes budget gimmicks and is filled with loopholes for Republicans to abuse on the floor. Still, Boehner said the rules package aims to “rebuild trust amongst us and the people we serve and, in so doing, provide a guidepost for those who follow us in the service of our nation.”
Boehner’s speech differed sharply from outgoing Speaker Pelosi’s, who spoke just before him, then introduced Boehner and handed him the gavel.
In her address, Pelosi invoked the memory of President John F. Kennedy and her own historic rise as the first female Speaker to reflect on her career.
“When I was first elected Speaker, I called the House to order on behalf of America’s children,” Pelosi said. “Thanks to you, we have stood with those children and for their families, for their health, their education, the safety of the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat.”
Just as Pelosi sought to deliver on her own promises, Boehner is quickly moving to deliver his. The House is poised to begin debate on legislation to repeal the health care law Friday, with a vote on the bill scheduled for next Wednesday.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.