Speaker John Boehner praised conservative activists Thursday night for their 2010 campaign efforts that helped put Republicans in control of the House, and he vowed to make good on his party’s promises of fiscal conservatism.
“I wouldn’t be Speaker of the House if Americans last year had not stood up and reasserted control over their government. ... I should be thanking you for a job well done,” the Ohio Republican said during a dinner in his honor at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.
Boehner told the assembled activists that Republicans are “intent on honoring the commitment we made to the American people. ... Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to keep our word.”
Republicans will deliver on their campaign pledge to cap discretionary spending at $100 billion less than President Barack Obama’s budget request for fiscal 2011, Boehner said. The leadership is expected to soon release a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“We are going to exceed our pledge. ... Next week we are going to cut more than $100 billion,” Boehner said. “And we’re not going to stop there. Once we cut the discretionary accounts, then we’ll get into the mandatory spending. And then you’ll see more cuts.”
He complained that the Obama administration is preparing a fiscal 2012 budget with significant new spending. “This isn’t winning the future, this is spending the future,” Boehner said.
But the top Republican in Washington also offered criticism of his own party. “Our last majority lost its way when it focused more on winning the vote rather than winning the argument,” he said. “And that’s how things like earmarks became a problem. ... Let me be clear, we’re not going to make the same mistakes this time. Not on my watch.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.