By Molly K. Hooper - 11/13/12 11:04 PM EST
House Speaker John Boehner made a pitch to his GOP colleagues for a second-term as the top-ranking official in the House on Tuesday.
According to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill, the Ohio Republican presented a plan to move the party forward at a time when it is doing much soul searching in the wake of disappointing losses in the Senate and in the presidential elections.
He said however, that the GOP “doesn’t need new principles. What it needs is a new plan – a strategy that speaks to Americans from all walks of life, and properly conveys our passion for reforms that preserve and renew the American Dream.”
Boehner believes that House Republicans can use oversight of the administration’s actions on Obamacare, regulations and other items to press their goal of limited government.
The Speaker established a tone of resignation and resolve to tackle a political reality that he had not predicted.
He said he has had to retool his own ideas on what the GOP House can accomplish moving forward, since he believed that after two years as the only seat at the governing table, he anticipated a GOP Senate and GOP White House.
“We find ourselves today with a different mission. For the foreseeable future, we will be the last line of defense in Washington for the American people against a government that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much when left to its own device,” Boehner wrote.
Under the bold-titled “Pillars,” Boehner presented a way to deal with the upcoming “fiscal cliff.”
Calling the debt, “the greatest challenge our country faces,” Boehner said that the GOP “vision of pro-growth tax reform with fewer loopholes and lower rates for all – and entitlement reforms critical to reducing the primary drivers of our debt – represent not just a path to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
He reiterated his call for enacting “significant tax reform and entitlement reform,” noting that the “first challenge” of the 113th Congress “is to deal successfully with the final challenge of the current Congress. That means averting the fiscal cliff in a manner that steers clear of increased tax rates and encourages economic growth instead.”
Boehner also appeared to back away from a remarks he made in an exclusive interview last week with ABC News in which he said that Republicans had to accept the president’s healthcare law – given President Obama’s overwhelming re-election and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law earlier this year.
In the letter, Boehner wrote “I’ve long maintained that there are three possible routes to repeal of ObamaCare: the courts, the presidential election, and our constitutional responsibility for oversight. With two of them having come up short, the third and final of these becomes more important than ever.”
At the same time however, Boehner said that Republicans should be ready to work with the president on areas of agreement such as trade, and other items that could help move the economy.
House Republicans will vote for their slate of leaders at a closed-door conference meeting on Wednesday. Boehner is running unopposed to retain the Speaker’s gavel.
The Speaker is not officially elected until the full House formally casts the vote on the first day of Congress in January.