110th Congress Needs Partisanship, Not Rancor

Today we officially begin the 110th Congress.  This day is a historic day with the ascension of Nancy Pelosi - the first female Speaker in our nation's history.  This is a great accomplishment that should be commended.

The voters made it very clear in November - they want less partisan rancor in Washington and they want Republicans and Democrats to work together on the issues that matter to them.  My fellow Republicans and I have gotten the message, and we stand ready to work together with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do the work the American people sent us here to do.

I am personally very disappointed by the way Speaker Pelosi has handled her first order of business - the rules package for the 110th Congress.  This rules package clearly defines the way Speaker Pelosi will operate the House.  She intends to lead the Congress with secret votes made behind closed doors.  There will be no opportunity for the Minority Party to participate in the debate.  There will be no opportunity to offer alternatives or ideas of our own.  She plans to rush significant legislation through without any opportunity to have normal review and consideration by committees.  By crafting the most abusive and draconian measures this House has ever seen in its history, Speaker Pelosi has missed a real opportunity to change the way we do business in Washington.

The American people have spoken.  It is incumbent on us to heed their call and work together for a better future.  I pledge to work for real solutions, fight for sound policy and put the interests of the American people ahead of petty, partisan political gains.  As we begin the first session of the 110th Congress, I hope many of my colleagues across the aisle will join me and put the American people first.