Boehner: GOP Would Lead More Transparent House

Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:11pm

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told a packed ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday that if Republicans took back control of the House and he were Speaker he would lead a more transparent and open chamber.

Several times during his speech, Boehner recounted how the GOP stood together to oppose Democratic priorities such as health care reform and last year’s $787 billion stimulus bill, and vowed that in the next few months Republicans would unveil an agenda of their own.

“In the months ahead we’re going to tell the nation exactly what we’d do differently if we’re entrusted with power,” Boehner said. “But it won’t be a document handed down from on high by politicians, because something like that would land with a big thud.”

Boehner listed several reforms that Republicans would implement if they regained control this year including making sure that bills are posted 72 hours before they hit the floor, installing cameras in the House Rules Committee and banning “air-dropped earmarks.” House Republicans lost control of the chamber in 2006 after more than a decade in power.

“We are going to get the reform movement moving again in the United States Congress,” Boehner said.

Boehner appealed to the populist “tea party” movement — which has a heavy presence at the annual CPAC event — and said Republicans would work to incorporate their ideas into the Republican 2010 platform.

“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.

But he added that while Republicans want tea party activists to support them, the GOP would not try to take over or take credit for the movement.

“The Republican Party should not attempt to co-opt the tea parties. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Boehner said. “What we will do, as long as I’m the leader, is respect them, listen to them and walk among them. The other party won’t do that.”

Boehner took several shots at President Barack Obama and his policies, recounting a conversation he had with the president at the White House in September in which Obama accused Republicans of mischaracterizing his economic policies to try to scare small businesses.

“I told him, ‘Mr. President, people aren’t scared by what we say — they’re scared by what your policies will do!'” he recalled.