This week was the beginning of the 116th Congress, and from the first day it was clear the U.S. House of Representatives is heading in a greatly different direction. A new Speaker of the House, new governing rules, and new members ensure the next two years will be a bumpy ride – buckle up.
I wasn’t sure if Nancy Pelosi would have the votes to become Speaker after the midterm elections. Dozens of Democrats running for office in 2018 promised the American people they would support new leadership and they wouldn’t vote for Pelosi. But on day 1, enough Democrats caved to the party elites and Washington swamp to break their word, giving Pelosi back the Speaker’s gavel.
After electing Pelosi to lead the U.S. House of Representatives, the very first item on her agenda was to dramatically alter the rules which the U.S. House and its members abide by. Tucked away in the new rules package they passed were rules that will make it easier to raise taxes and explode the debt, all while hiding it from the American people. They essentially eliminated the debt ceiling, so everyday Americans will be left in the dark when Pelosi and her cohorts want to borrow more money than they’re spending. We’ve had a rule in the U.S. House since 1995 that you would need a three-fifths super majority in order to raise taxes; that’s gone too.
The reason they’re drastically changing the rules is because they want to pass a radical agenda, but they have no clue how to pay for it. Many liberals running for office promised they’d take away employer provided health care and replace it with a complete government takeover of the health care system. They’ve promised free college tuition for all and cancellation of student debt, federal housing guarantees, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s extremist “Green New Deal,” which would drastically increase energy prices on rural America. Now that they’re in Congress, the liberals have no idea how to afford the staggering $40 trillion price tag.
Instead of focusing on raising taxes, getting rid of the debt limit, and creating new government handouts, Speaker Pelosi’s time would be better spent negotiating with President Trump to secure the border and end the partial government shutdown. This week she passed a sham of a bill providing no extra border security that is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate and wouldn’t get President Trump’s signature even if it did pass. I was holding town halls while she was vacationing in Hawaii during the government shutdown, and the good people of southern Missouri overwhelmingly want to put the politics aside and finally secure the southern border.
Speaker Pelosi has said that she is willing to work with President Trump on bipartisan wins for the American people. Time will tell if she meant those words. So far, I trust it as much as I trust the members who promised fresh leadership but ultimately caved to party bosses and voted to put the gavel back in Nancy Pelosi’s hands.
Jason Smith, R, is the 8th District Representative.