September 30th, 2010
10:40 AM ET
8 years ago

Boehner pledges to reform House rules

Washington (CNN) - House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, will lay out his "personal vision" for how Congress needs to be reformed if he becomes speaker of the House in a speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

According to excerpts of his speech obtained by CNN, Boehner will pledge to take input from anyone on how to make "the people's House" work better.

"Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort," he says. "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to. I welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker, expert, or citizen about how we can make this institution function again."

He'll offer a sharp critique of the way Democrats are currently running the House, arguing that the current session of Congress is "not concluding – it is collapsing."

Boehner will also repeat the argument he made on the House floor on Wednesday - that Democratic leaders ignored a bipartisan majority to extend the Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year.

In a swipe at the past congressional management of both parties, Boehner will also say that Congress has become rightly known over the last decade for its fiscal recklessness. He'll make the case, according to an individual familiar with his speech, that the current House rules are rigged to make it easy to increase spending and nearly impossible to cut it.

Boehner, the individual said, will pledge to change those rules.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, is not waiting for Boehner to deliver the speech to slam it. A statement from Pelosi's office says that in "12 years of a GOP-controlled Congress, there were an unprecedented number of abuses of power; a completely broken ethics process; passing major bills at 5:50 a.m. after holding a vote open for 3 hours; and countless deals with special interests behind closed doors."

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: House • John Boehner
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    It's the GOP that's stopping the House from working at all.
    So in order for it to work "better," does that mean all the GOP will resign and leave Washington?

    September 30, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  2. josh

    So, let me see if I get this correctly. He pledges to change the rules but asks for input to which rules need to be changed and how... Hmmm, isn't that like saying: " I am your man but please let me know what to do because I really have no clue???"

    September 30, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Dan in Chitown

    It is pretty crazy that Boehner can take "swipes" at how Congress has acted over the past years. Hasn't he be in leadership in the Congress for a decade now??? All of a sudden he is an expert in how Congress should run. What a joke.

    September 30, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. stufit

    What a refreshing change he will be from Nancy Pelosi who calls taxpayers who disagree with her names. She, Reid, Barbara Boxer, Rangel and Waters and so many in the Democrat liberal party forgot that they are employees, no demigods. We still have an inept, incompetent, union toady president, who thinks with a messiah complex, but we can get rid of him in 2012.

    September 30, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. Sandra

    I can only say God help America if someone of John Boehner's character is the speaker of the House. I don't particularly care for Nancy Pelosi but Republicans always talk a good game but it's all about power with them. Look at how the House was run by Dennis Hastert. Those who throw stones should look in the mirror first and foremost. That glass may just shatter right in front of them.

    September 30, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. Northeast

    What a load of crap. This guy represents big special interests, he doesn't give 2 cents about the people. He is just playing on themes to get Republicans control of Congress.

    If he really cared about the "people" he'd be abhorred by the last years Supreme Court decision to define Corporations as "people" therefore allowing them to donate unlimited abouts of cash to political campaigns.

    September 30, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Mary

    Mr Boehner where have you been!!! If you wanted to revise the house rules you could have been doing this for the past HOW many years. If I am not mistaken this is still a democracy even in the congress, which means you could have worked with that democracy at any time to CHANGE the house. Explain how I am supposed to put any trust in your PLEDGE! When you took a PLEDGE to uphold the laws and the system of our country when you took office and have only managed to put up the very road blocks to democratic CHANGE.

    People wake up! If they say they are PLEDGING for new rules and they have been in the system for years..... the Pledge is worthless...In the words of Reagan. "where's the Beef" Boehner!

    September 30, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Boehner, the individual said, will pledge to change those rules.

    You have to be a man of honor in order to expect people to put any stock in your "pledge". Orange Glo is NOT a man of honor, see the rehashed "Pledge to America", and his vitriolic, and negative performance and input as a member of Congress.

    Your 'pledge' is not worth the spit used to utter it.

    September 30, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. terry, va

    The next speaker of the house has spoken !! Time to put the brakes on Pelosi and Obummie's socialist government.

    September 30, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Democracy NOT = free market capitalism

    'peoples congress' is a crock, boehner!.......... 'corporations congress' as all republicans are bought and paid for by corporations as you have voted for the last 10 years faithfully for corporations and against individual American taxpayers.........boehner and repugs have not even come close to addressing how they will provide American workers with job opportunities again after the republicans aided and abetted corporations with subsidies to rip jobs away from America for the last 10 years and more.......its about jobs, stupid and you don't even know it

    September 30, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Rose

    "the current House rules are rigged to make it easy to increase spending and nearly impossible to cut it"

    What a phony! Those current rules have been around for decades, and every administration has taken advantage of it. Now that Obama is president, we desperately need to change it? Be careful what you say John. If you change those rules, it means that you and your cohorts will have to follow them too, and we all know (from plenty of past years) that the Republicans are quite experienced at increasing spending. "Do as I say and not as I do" won't fly here.

    September 30, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  12. ST

    "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to. Said Bohner.
    This man doesn't have any answers at all! What he is going to do there? Just to be a rubber stamp!!!

    September 30, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Adalbert

    This guy can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction. In fact, today's republicans do not know and do not care about the truth. Their new strategy is corruption, lies and more lies.

    September 30, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. anagram_kid

    Boehner said, “I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to.” I have to agree with him on this. He has made it clear he is incapable of making decisions and wants to let ‘the American people’ decide for him. Someone should explain to Boehner how congress works. We elect representatives to make decisions for us with the understanding that they are better qualified to do so than the average citizen. If he is unable to do this I strongly urge him to step aside and let a more intelligent and thoughtful person take his position. I don’t care what their party affiliation is as long as they have the ability to be practical, forward thinking and rational.

    September 30, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. NVa Native

    This clown now wants to find out "how to make the people's house work"?
    What an idiot, he's spent the last 20 months shutting down the Congress.
    Just like Boner it's very simple – all that needs to happen is to get these lazy self-righteous Republicans to do their damn job instead of sitting on their pitty-pot yelling "NO!"
    How do these morons keep getting elected?

    September 30, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. Anonymous

    The Congress man is once again proving Americnas come second in his mind. Instaed fo worrying abut governing for the next few months, he is once agian talkig about what it will be likeot be crowned King of the House.
    Where were all these supposed great ideas as Minority Leader? I guess when you're goal is to block any chance of accomplishing something, there is no time for proposed ideas.

    September 30, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Jess C

    I can barely stand to look at this snake oil salesman anymore. They blocked the outsourcing bill; enough said.

    September 30, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. musician

    We are all on the edge of our seats waiting to hear what the next ridiculous idea might be.

    September 30, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. kbtrpm

    Okay, my two cents: no more filibustering and no more anonymous obstruction.

    September 30, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Mike in NC

    I found it interesting that the article about the Democrat attack ads on Boehner "closed" the comment board but this older article still has opportunity for posts. What's up CNN? Trying to limit the negative comments about your partners in crime?
    It's no wonder the heads are rolling within your organization. We hope you take the path of the newspapers.

    September 30, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. SayWhat

    Do the new rules allow you to hand out lobbyists checks on the House floor or do you have to do that in your office or the cloak room?

    September 30, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    The DNC add SHOULD read:
    "And NOW he wants to reform Congress?"

    Seriously, he's had plenty of opportunity and really, all he wants to do is change it back to the "good ole'" Bush days – not for me thanks~

    September 30, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Boy I hope the voters of Ohio "Fire" this guy....John you better worry about your future before you settle down in that speakers chair.

    September 30, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Why are the democrats wasting their time beating up on the Republicans?

    I mean, just 18 months ago, the democrats were preening that the GOP was dead... gone the way of the Whigs... an insignificant regional political party. So what happened?

    Hint: Americans don't approve the far-left agenda of Obama and the dems.

    Can't wait to say "Mr. Speaker Boehner"!

    September 30, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Irma in North Carolina

    I hope the american people will wake up and prevent you from being speaker of the house. So dont get to cocky here.

    September 30, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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