GUEST COLUMN: Pledge is just the beginning of new direction in governing

October 4, 2010
In The News



GUEST COLUMN: Pledge is just the beginning of new direction in governing

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I have been listening intently to the people all over the Pikes Peak region at town hall meetings, in small businesses, online and on the radio. The message they are sending me is loud and clear - get big government out of the way and allow the free markets to get the economy moving again. They want Congress to rein in spending and roll back the failed economic policies of this administration.

Last week, I endorsed A Pledge to America - a governing agenda that a great majority of Americans want Congress to enact right now.

The Republican governing agenda reflects Americans’ desire for a return to the values that have made our country the most prosperous nation in history - personal freedom, limited government, and free markets. Our agenda, A Pledge to America, is the result of our conversations with everyday Americans. It is grounded in the Constitution, and calls for a smaller and more-accountable government, economic freedom, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, and continuing the long-standing prohibition against taxpayer-funded abortion. Our agenda also provides for a robust national defense that confronts and defeats the terrorist threat.

The single greatest issue the American people want us to address is getting America back to work. Here in Colorado, more than 216,500 people are unemployed and looking for work. That number does not include all the out-of-work people who have given up looking for jobs.

For 16 consecutive months, the nation’s unemployment rate has been at or above nine percent. It is time for Democrats to admit that their Washington-focused approach of funding new government programs has failed, and to come up with solutions that will help the private sector create jobs. Republicans are ready to permanently do just that by stopping job-killing tax hikes, reining in Washington’s red tape, and repealing job-killing mandates.

Families and small businesses in Colorado Springs have been making hard choices to live within their means. They have told me they want Washington to do the same. The Republican pledge to America is that we are ready to stop the federal government’s out-of-control spending spree. Our plan will immediately cut spending to 2008 pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, put a hard cap on new discretionary spending, and require that Congress cut its own budget and learn to do more with less. Republicans will deal with spending in ways that Democrats have refused - by ending the TARP bailout, returning unspent stimulus dollars to the treasury, thus reducing debt, and ending government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

During the town halls I have held this year, people have repeatedly told me that they want common-sense health care reform that lowers costs, not the massive and radical job-killing government takeover that Democrats imposed. The American people can see that the new health care law will drive up costs, impose new taxes, force people off of coverage they like, and use taxpayer dollars for abortion services. Republicans are ready to begin the fight to repeal this law and replace it with patient-centered reform that expands, not limits, health care choices. We will allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines, expand Health Savings Accounts, reform medical tort liability, and allow other market-based reforms.

Finally, we know that the American people also want basic changes in how Washington enacts laws. That is why Republicans are committed to restoring people’s trust in Congress through some fundamental changes to how we do the people’s business. It is time to make sure that bills are read, debated and understood before votes are cast, by publishing all legislation online for at least three days and requiring that the bills we pass are based on a specific constitutional authority. Proposals to reduce spending, not just increase it, will, for the first time ever, be regularly scheduled.

These are just a few of the specific details in the governing agenda that my Republican colleagues and I are pledging to implement immediately. We believe it is time for real transparency and accountability in Washington. I hope you will join me today in calling on the leadership of the 111th Congress to bring these vital reforms up for a full and open debate, so the voice of the American people can once again be heard in Washington, D.C.

You can view the entire Pledge to America at my website,

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