Forgive, yes. But I will never forget the spiteful, ridiculous comments aimed at me and the other 19 conservatives during the recent election for Speaker of the House.
From op-ed writers to television commentators, many of my vocal critics were notable figures in conservative circles. (Or at least they used to be.) And many have spent the better part of their careers promoting fiscal responsibility, warning about our debt, and explaining how broken the status quo is in Congress.
Yet when the opportunity arose to actually do something about it, it was remarkable to see many of these commentators not just turn tail and run, but viciously criticize the 20 of us willing to fight for what they claimed to support!
They said they agreed with our goals but didn’t agree with our tactics. I’m sorry, but that’s just weak. When you have leverage to help change what needs to be changed, you don’t cower in fear. Instead, you stand up and use that leverage to fight for what’s right.
They said we were 20 members standing in the way of the other 200 Republicans. As if we were supposed to stand down because we were outnumbered.
They said we were “holding up the work of the American people,” which was the most ridiculous argument. We’d just been through four years of total dysfunction while Democrats were in the majority, so a few days to work through these issues at the start of this congressional term was simply not the crisis they wanted you to believe it was.
Anyway, let’s recap a few of the big items that were agreed to because of what I fought for along with 19 other conservative colleagues in the House.
- Firm assurances the Speaker will leverage every tool within his disposal to put our nation on a trajectory towards a balanced budget within 10 years. This was my #1 priority during these negotiations, as I explained on multiple occasions.
- A return to "regular order" with individual attention to the 12 separate appropriations bills that Congress is supposed to pass, not these obnoxious multi thousand-page omnibus spending bills where everything is thrown together.
- A requirement that bills in the House be posted at least 72 hours before voting. No more of this nonsense we've seen where bills are posted just a couple hours prior to voting.
- Three conservatives on the powerful Rules Committee. This is a big one, folks. The Rules Committee has a tremendous amount of power over what bills and amendments are brought to the House Floor for a vote. So having three solid conservatives on this committee will go a LONG way to help ensure the House is acting responsibly.
- A solid "motion to vacate," which will help hold the Speaker accountable.
- Plus several other outstanding wins.
These are not concessions. These are common sense measures that 20 of us knew would never see the light of day unless we were willing to use leverage to make it happen.
Even most of those critics now acknowledge the House is better off because of that fight and these changes. Funny how that works.