Hensarling and the RSC Will Guide the Way Back

In the next Congress, taxpayers' interests will be defended by a cohort of committed fiscal conservatives in the Republican Study Committee. On Wednesday, RSC members took their first step forward by electing Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX) as their new leader, taking the reins from Rep. Mike Pence's (IN) able hands.

Hensarling is the type of leader Republicans need in order to get back on track. Aggressive and outspoken on earmarks and government waste, Hensarling rarely backs down from a challenge, especially when taxpayer dollars are at stake. Besides a sterling track record on budget issues, he understands that the Republican party needs to reclaim the trust of the American people as the good stewards of the public purse.

Hensarling's bid was supported by a "who's who" list of young congressional conservatives, including Rep. Pence (IN), Rep. John Shadegg (AZ), Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ), Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN). These are the same folks who unveiled a proposal earlier in the year that would balance the budget through spending restraint, protecting economic growth by safeguarding the Bush Administration's tax cuts, and committing the resources needed to fight the war on terror. In fact, had the Republicans made the right choice to follow the model laid out in that document, maybe voters would have been more approving of Republican efforts.

Conservatives haven't had much to cheer about recently, but Wednesday's RSC election may offer a sign of the changes on the horizon. With Democrats in control of Congress, and by extension, the Federal purse strings, the RSC elected a fighter to lead the resistance movement. To be effective, House conservatives -- who will now be a "minority of the minority" -- must find creative ways to influence the bloated and back-room budgeting process. The "guerilla" tactics of a vibrant RSC will be needed now more than ever to restore the Republican Party's credibility in the battle for limited government.