John Boehner (R-OH) was sworn in today, by the Dean of the House John Dingle (D-MI), as the 53rd person to serve as Speaker of the House today. With the Republicans taking control of the House, again, he rose from Minority Leader. Eric Cantor (R-VA) rises to Majority Leader and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is demoted to Minority Leader.
In his first speech as Speaker of the House, John Boehner said of his party’s ascension to leadership, “The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories to just how temporary the privilege of serving is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. . . That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing that I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s house.”
The American people have given the GOP a second chance to turn the country around. John Boehner and the GOP swept into power much like the Democrats did in 2006 when the country was disillusioned by the Republicans who were in office at the time. Led by former President George Bush, former Speaker of the House Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), the country saw two wars, job loss, lower tax revenue, record spending, government growth, and a housing crisis.
Once the Democrats gained control, their policies did not do much to alleviate the problems. So once again, the Republicans have control of the House and greater influence in the Senate. This is Mr. Boehner’s chance to make his mark on American politics. This is his chance to lead his party and the country in a new direction. Some Republicans will admit that the party got away from its core principles and now is the time to go back.
One of the first items on Mr. Boehner’s agenda is a vote to repeal the healthcare bill. Earlier bipartisan work included extending the Bush tax credits and the unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. His other big job will be keeping the members of the Tea Party in line with the GOP message. There have already been some grumblings. Also, Mr. Boehner voted for the TARP bill that helped bail out companies so he will have to reconcile that vote with what his members want to do in the future.
For the sake of the American people and the future of this country, Speaker Boehner must do what is best for the people and not what is best for politics. He has the leadership position and it is time for leadership, not partisan bickering.