Boehner tells freshmen to stay humble, fight big government

House Republican Leader John Boehner told members of the incoming GOP class Sunday that the No. 1 goal for House Republicans over the next two years is to end the federal government’s “spending binge” and “job-killing policies.”

Boehner, who will become the new Speaker in the next Congress, told Republicans they may spend the “entire 112th Congress fighting to do just those two things,” according to excerpts of the speech obtained by The Hill.

“If that happens, take pride in it. You'll be doing the will of the American people. And that's why you're here,” Boehner said in a speech delivered at a dinner Sunday night that he hosted for newly elected GOP lawmakers.

The dinner was the official GOP kick-off to freshmen orientation week for the more the 80 incoming members elected to the House less than two weeks ago. Republicans won 60 Democratic seats to take their majority, with a few races still undecided.

Boehner advised that the new members stay humble. He said they should remember “just one word: humility. ... All the power in this town is on loan from the people.”

He said the “Washington knows best” mentality had failed Democrats and would fail the GOP if they adopted it.

Boehner also told his colleagues that they must work as a team to be successful, to take victories “in stride” and to check their egos at the door.

Dozens of incoming members and their spouses attended the dinner, and found copies of the House GOP “Pledge to America” on their seats.

Calling the Pledge “the plan,” Boehner informed his future colleagues, who were not consulted for input on the document, that the Pledge was the House GOP's “agenda, from the people.”

“In the new majority, the people's priorities will be our priorities: creating jobs, cutting spending, reforming Congress. The goal is to start us on a path to smaller, less costly, more accountable government,” Boehner said.

Republicans will begin Monday with an 8 a.m. breakfast in the Capitol.