September 30th, 2010
10:40 AM ET
4 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. DJ in TX

    Really Mr. Boehner?? You admit that over the last 10 years, spending has been out of control. Well, doesn't that also INCLUDE YOU?? If you had these ideas, why wait until you potentially become speaker? Why not bring them up NOW? I'm tired of people stating "when we take control". Remember you had control, and what policies worked for you then? Everyone loves tax cuts, but contrary to popular belief, they didn't lead to jobs being created. In fact, the jobless rate went up from about 4.5 or so to 7.6 or so during the tax cuts. The debt also went up during that time. So what record of "fiscal responsibility" to you have to run on? You keep saying that we need to get back to it, but you haven't done in the past yourself. The GOP congress increased the federal budget each and every year during your tenure. To his credit President Bush tried to ask for lower budgets, but his GOP Congress upped him every time. So I say again, WHAT IS YOUR RECORD on FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY? ..........................Is that crickets I hear??

    September 30, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner says "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to" after this man and the GOP have been spouting off at the mouth for the past 20 months and voting NO like they had answers. Well I have an answer, get the H out of the way., you're blocking my "personal vision".

    September 30, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. roro

    Extend tax cuts for the rich – that's their idea of bi-partisanship. That's billions of dollars that will be added to the deficit the Repubs are always grousing about. I think we all can figure out what Boner's idea of reform is. Happy golfing, tanman.

    September 30, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia

    Don't count the chickens BEFORE they HATCH!!! Keep jumping the GUN and you will be totally embarrassed after November 2010!!!

    "Reform should be an oNgOing and inclusive effort," he says. "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to..." Then why PRETEND that you are the LEADER when the voters did NOt decide yet. Also, this is a typical statement from a person who is UNSURE – anything that is 'oNgOing' CHANGES and that's the mistake the "Pledge to NOwhere" made – it came out EMPTY and was promised to be oNgOing!!! Jeez!!

    We do NOt need Boehner as house leader!!! He keeps presenting things without even having the title!! He jumped ahead of President Obama with his Iraq speech – PLEASE go hide somewhere and concentrate on your CURRENT job – meaning NOthing!!!

    This is T'SAH and I approve this message!! The capital N and O is done on purpose!!

    September 30, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. phoenix86

    Repulicans need to clean up the Swamp, starting with that swamp rat Pelosi and that sewer rat Rangel.

    September 30, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Hugo

    Mr. Boehner, thank you for your service. It will truly be an effort to correct the House back to the people after Nasty Nancy has derailed nearly every aspect of its function through misuse and misrepresentation of legislative rule. I still cannot fathom how an elected official could become so arrogant and egotistical as to think to pass Bills that the majority of the American people do not wish to see passed. Funny how healthcare reform surpassed everything else at the time as our economy continued to slip down the toilet and now it is showing to be exactly what Mr. Boehner championed his warning about. I truly believe Glen Beck has hit the nail on the head with this bunch of rejects, Obama and his crew have orchestrated a collapse of the capitalistic society of America in the light of day with the help of Nancy and Union thugs.

    September 30, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Tim

    Did you see that CNN thinks that passing a 2 month funding bill is the 2nd major accomplishment of congress this summer?

    Only in liberal la la land can a two month funding bill be considered major. It's the equivalent of begging long enough on the street corner to buy dinner.

    September 30, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. carlos

    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, input from anyone, the same input they got for their Pflegm for America, they have absolutely no ideas of their own so they need for people to tell them what to do......ignorance at its best, bunch of comatose iliterates.

    September 30, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. pkb

    Speaker Pelosi is absolutely right about Boehner and the GOP. There is nothing they didn't or wouldn't do for special interests. Boehner possibly has dementia. He simply thinks he is the President.

    September 30, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. SayWhat

    Mr Boehmer, if you want to reform anything, how about starting with yourself. You have been relentlessly attacking Democrats as "job-killers". How then do you explain that in yesterday's vote on the Currency Reform Act for Fair Trade aimed agasint China's artificial low valuation of its currency that allows it to unfairly compete in world markets, you, together with 73 other Republicans voted against the bill, while 348 members of Congress voted for its passage in order to creat more jobes in the US. What was that Mr. Boehmer, I didn't couldn't hear you over the din of campaign rhetoric and dleiberate disinformation.

    September 30, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Dave Harris

    Oh yeah, Boner's going to "fix" everything. He has a plan. What a loser. It'll be fun watching him try to blame the other party for bankrupting the country, once Republicans resume doing that themselves.

    September 30, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. cm

    Agent Orange is a total moron. He needs to spend more time fixing issues in his own state.

    September 30, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. MarianneEvans

    Mr. Boehner, save your breath, we, the citizens of the USofA "Know" what is wrong with the House already. And, you cannot fix it. When you are part of the problem, you must get out of the way and allow others who "care about their constituents" continue with the congressional process as it is. It is not collapsing. The Republican Party has collapsed and don't blame congressional mistakes on House Speaker Pelosi. She is the "BEST SPEAKER" Congress ever had and ever will. GOD BLESS US IF IF IF BOEHNER does reach the Speaker's Seat. Yes. Congress will collapse at that time and only then.

    September 30, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Independent In Albany

    Getting rid of Bohener would be a great start......

    September 30, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. John

    THE only people John Boehner is going too let put input if he becomes speaker of the House,is WALL STREET,BIG BUSINESS AND THE VERY RICH. The hell with the rest of us,just like his PLEDGE TO AMERICA the same old stuff that we had of under 8 years of BUSH. WAKE up AMERICA do we need more of want got us in this mess too begin with, I don't think so.

    September 30, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Watching

    Bohner you have been in congress for ever and ever amen.
    You are one of the biggest problems, we remember you loudly saying no to cooperating with the President before ever meeting with him and never compromised when your ideas were inserted into bills you voted against.
    YOU ARE INCORRIGIBLE!!!

    September 30, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Lisa P

    If Boehner won't talk with the Democrats when he's in the minority somehow I doubt he'll listen when he's in the majority. The Republicans under Bush were not exactly known to be good or fair-minded listeners. Their rhetoric since Obama won the Presidency confirms that they aren't even slightly interested in finding solutions, just in stopping "the other side" from getting anything done (including policies the GOP used to claim support).

    September 30, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. j

    Correct Mr. Boehner, Congress has been reckless and spend happy over the last 12 years--- And who controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006??--- Republicans, that`s who. It goes back to the old saying, " Who are you going to believe, what I tell you or your lying eyes?" Sorry, Mr Boehner, but
    you`re a master at double-speak.

    September 30, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Bill from GA

    To show that he, and Congress understand the American people, Boehner, or any others in the House or Senate, should bring forth a bill to revoke the last three years pay hike, and end automatic pay increases for Congress.

    Maybe they could get a Colbert, or Lindsay Lohan, to drop by so the press would cover the event.

    September 30, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. "I Want My Country Back" Libs Go Home

    I do not care if the Speaker is Mickey Mouse.....anybody will be better than Botox Pelosi!
    Go Tea Party Go!!!!

    September 30, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. vic, Nashville TN

    Really I want him zip his mouth
    GOP is pretending that they commit to do something

    GOP must stop pretending , it will back fire, GOP agenda(“pledge to America”) all about tea party there is no specifics

    September 30, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Bill from GA

    The repugs remind me of Lucy and Charley Brown in "Peanuts": Trust me,Charlie Brown, THIS TIME I'll hold the football for you to kick – Trust me, America, THIS TIME we will be responsible with your money.

    September 30, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Snow

    This is to funny. Botox pelosi talking about deals for votes and having votes at all hours when alot of Republicans were not in the building. Anything would be an improvement over the lack of ethics of the demorat congress. Talk about vote buying, how about the Nebraska Cornhusker deal and the Louisiana purchase backroom deals plus many other examples of vote buying by the demorats. This November we will really get a jump on draining the swamp in the Congress and flush out alot of liberals. Rangel and Waters wanted their ethics hearing before the Republicans take control because the demorats would only cover up their misconduct and clear them.

    September 30, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Four and The Door

    Reform should be an ongoing and inclusive effort," he says..
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    With the way Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid operated congress, being inclusive by itself would be much-needed reform.

    The dirge of Democratic partisan legislation coming out of this congress has not been good for America. It has been too expensive and very little has come close to meeting its objectives. The Republican party has been accused of being the party of No and with the lousy performance of the Democratic legislation passed this turns out to be the right answer. NO!

    John Boehner will make an excellent Speaker of The House. I look forward to this.

    September 30, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. TJ from Seattle

    This coming from the last of the "Gingrich 7". Who can believe anything he says?

    September 30, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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