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. barry

    It would be nice if Congress worked for the people again instead of the people working for Congress. President Obama has taken John Boehner from a person no one knew to a popular politician that is emerging as a true leader.

    September 30, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Clint, Wa.

    House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn't listen to anyone now, what would make anyone think he would listen if he became the House Speaker?

    September 30, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Thinker

    Boner is a jerk. How this man has been reelected so much maks me wonder.

    September 30, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. Oliviaspap

    With today's technology in transportation and communication I feel it is time for smaller government. We no longer need 435 members of the House particularly if so many votes are along party lines. I believe the same can be accomplished with 217 members! Our home is in one congressional district, I own a business in a different district and my wife works in another district. Voters today do not work within 3 miles of home as they did decades ago. Let's make government smaller starting here!

    September 30, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Andrew Davis

    This guy is a real piece of everything wrong politics a liar.

    September 30, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. William Jefferson

    Minority leaders don't set the rules. But he wouldn't know that since he rarely shows up for a full day of work, and while there rarely pays attention.

    September 30, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Marry

    "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to." Boehner says.
    Well, he has shown in the past 2 years that he does not only has not “all” the answers, he has none! Now he wants to cut spending – the idea never accrued to him the many years before – not only not cutting spending but not even telling what they spend (Iraq war)! Now that there is some money spend FOR the people – of cause, he is against it!
    When he says “…welcome ideas and helping hands from any lawmaker, expert, or citizen about how we can make this institution function again (after we almost destroyed it)”, he must allow the question how he worked that in all the years since he has been in Congress. As with most “talk” from the GOP, nothing to prove real intentions besides getting back into power and making the President fail.
    Please go out and vote! Fair, informed, responsible and smart! Don’t be fooled!

    September 30, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. DIANA

    Basically you'll take any ideas that agree with you. Where was bipartisanship when Obama won the election?

    September 30, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Fnordtastic

    I have an idea on how to make the House run smoother. Stop the Rebublicans from stonewalling everything.
    Party of NO indeed. No ideas. No class. No results.

    September 30, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. rdepontb

    Rep Boehner, corrections to the system should start in your own job. You know you don't need to wait for input to accept that "The Party of No" was NOT meant as a compliment. You and your close "friend" Jim DeMint (who's gunning for your job!) pulled a fast one with your maneuvers. You know that with friends like that, you will not last long-you cannot possibly expect easy acceptance by the other party at this point. You were way too public and lacked way too much discretion, and the Dems now have that to bully them through the coming months.

    How are you ever going to handle DeMint and Co??

    September 30, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. cane pazzo

    The same old tired rhetoric from both sides none of whom has any real desire to change anything.

    September 30, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. MAhole

    Boy – this will be simple: "Cut taxes. Cut Spending. Impeach Obama for being a Socialist. Tax breaks for all businesses – especially those that send jobs overseas. More wars. Deregulate everything. Scrap Healthcare Reform"

    "I don't have all the answers, and wouldn't pretend to." – has he ever spoken truer words??????

    September 30, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. TJ from Seattle

    Who can believe anything he states, being the last of the "Gingrich 7"?

    September 30, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. RapierEdge

    Pelosi's comments are interesting. It well may be that those things happened during the 12 years of GOP-controlled Congress. But how does she justify that the Dem-controlled Congress has done the exact same thing since they came into power? Is it "It's bad when they do it but good when we do it?" Or is she just conveniently forgetting what the Dems have done (even within the past 12 months)???

    September 30, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Expat American

    It seems that 'Outdoorsman' Boehner pledges only to reform the House back to where it was under GOP control – where the politics of lies, fear, and 21st Century McCarthism was the rule; where anyone not on board with the GOP agenda in an upatriotic traitor. Very sad indeed.

    September 30, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Expat American

    It seems that 'Outdoorsman' Boehner pledges only to reform the House back to where it was under GOP control – where the politics of lies, fear, and 21st Century McCarthism was the rule; where anyone not on board with the GOP agenda is an upatriotic traitor. Very sad indeed.

    September 30, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Voice of Reason

    Ironic. I wonder if that will include rules that discourage or disallow the sort of filibustering and delaying and loophole exploitation that his party has used over the last two years to assure that – even though they are the minority party – that NOTHING gets done. This sort of Denial-of-Service politics is part of what's wrong with America. This 'I'll just take my ball and go home' attitude, where the GOP will set out not only to defeat a bill, but to actively work to create failure to discredit their opponents.

    Really Mr Boehner? You are a hypocrite.

    September 30, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Who Cares?

    Good Lord..Let's see if I can pick a few he would add :

    1). Congress will add a new 90 minute tanning break every day around 2:00 to 3:30.

    2). Lobbyists will actually get to vote along with their paid Representatives.

    3). Big Oil will get their own chair in the House and their vote will count for 10 of just regular representatives.

    4), THEIR WILL NEVER BE ANY DISCUSSION OR DEBATE on topics. Action without thought is what we need now!

    September 30, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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