Eric Cantor and John Boehner have been hot on the media circuit since the GOP won back control of the House last week. From press conferences, interviews with prominent papers, and releasing documents that shed light on how the next Congress might operate, Boehner and Cantor are the most-watched people in Washington, D.C..
Probable Speaker-Designate John Boehner has published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on what the next speaker must do. Boehner goes as far as to call for a complete moratorium on earmark spending, a minimum of three days for a bill being posted online for all Americans to read before Congress can vote on it, a complete cessation of “comprehensive” legislation, and an end to bills being written behind the closed doors of the speaker’s office. He went even further on Friday when he called for the first cut of the next Congress to be lawmakers’ salaries.
But despite all the nice rhetoric from Boehner, he is not speaker yet and has yet to do anything to limit the size and scope of government since last Tuesday’s midterm election. So before we go overboard and say “this is what we have been waiting for,” we should all be saying, “This sounds good. Hopefully this is exactly what the next Congress will be like.”
Boehner is not the only one with good rhetoric. Eric Cantor, the likely Majority Leader for the Republicans in the next Congress, has been on a roll with ideas to reform the way that Congress works. The day after the election, Cantor was out with a 22-page document titled, “Delivering on our Commitment” that lays a framework for the next Congress under GOP leadership.
Cantor’s document is great. It calls for serious spending cuts, a review of existing government rules and regulations, and he is calling for an end to legislation that recognizes “individuals, groups, events, and institutions.” Further, on page 9 of his document, Cantor calls for all legislation that comes to the House floor to include “demonstration of the federal gvernment’s constitutional authority to act and why it is not more properly an activity for state or local government.”
This is all a great start from Boehner and Cantor. But they have yet to be elected to the offices they seek in the House leadership. The GOP is yet to be sworn in as the majority party in the House and the GOP still hasn’t had the power of the purse handed to them.
The rhetoric we hear today fits perfectly in to what the voters declared when they went to polls on November 2. But the rhetoric of today from Boehner and Cantor need to be the actions of tomorrow when they have taken control of the House in January. If they fail to follow through on these simple promises, they will soon found themselves as irrelevant as Nancy Pelosi has become.
Adam Bitely is the editor-in-chief of NetRightDaily.com.