January 5, 2015
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U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith
Griffith Statement on Speaker of the 114th Congress

Monday, January 5, 2015 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today issued the following statement on the Speaker of the House for the 114th Congress:

“I strongly believe that Congress ought to be more aggressive in opposing President Obama’s policies than in the past.  Time will tell if the new Congress will bring a more aggressive approach in fighting President Obama’s failed policies.”

“That being said, no candidate other than John Boehner stepped forward for the nomination at the Republican Conference meeting of November 13, 2014.  Had a viable candidate sought the nomination at that meeting, I would have given serious consideration to supporting them due to my frustrations with the leadership style of John Boehner.”

“Further, no member nominated anyone else to serve as Speaker at that Republican Conference meeting.  That meeting and its purpose was fully known well in advance, and it was attended by the vast majority of the members of the 114th Congress.”

“Recently, one on Friday and one on Sunday, other Republican members stated they would place their names for consideration as Speaker of the House.  That would be less than 5 days of planning and consideration for one candidate, and less than 3 for the other before the 114th Congress starts tomorrow.”

“As of 5:00pm on January 5, neither candidate opposing Boehner has requested my vote, indicating they have no plan to campaign, win, or lead.  To underscore the point, neither candidate has sent me a plan for leading this nation, nor have they sent me a plan for leading this body, their leadership team, or their leadership style.”

“In order to be a leader of the U.S. House of Representatives or, for that matter, any legislative body, one must have a plan for leadership.  While I do not completely agree with John Boehner’s leadership style or plan, at least he has one.”

“The curtain on the 114th Congress goes up less than 24 hours from now, on January 6 at noon.  In order to effectively govern the United States, you must be ready at noon on January 6.  The Speaker is the third highest elected public official in America.  The Republican challengers to Boehner, while good and honorable men, just aren’t ready.  Who will be on their staff?  Do the challengers want to have emergency meetings of the steering committee this week to determine members’ committee assignments for the 114th Congress, thus delaying action?  The steering committee is a committee of the leadership team nominated and elected at the November 13 Republican Conference meeting, regional representatives elected at the November 13 meeting, and others.  The Speaker nominee is granted the most votes on the steering committee, and leads the process.  Do the challengers wish to re-open this process after the session begins?”

“I strongly believe the legislative process must be improved so as to reflect the voters’ will as expressed in the November elections, and I am proposing and supporting congressional rules to do just that.”

“It is with trepidation and with hope that I move forward – trepidation that John Boehner will not fight as hard as he should; hope that our stronger House Republican majority and the Republican Senate will encourage a stronger fighter in John Boehner.  I hope that we can have more floor amendments and conservative victories in the House.  I hope that the House and the Senate, working together, can put our ideas on the President’s desk for him to sign or veto.”

“I am hopeful that Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McCarthy, and the rest of leadership will let our new larger House Republican majority work its will and block much of the Obama policy.”

“But to suddenly elect new leadership on the opening day of the 114th Congress would throw our Republican Conference and the House into chaos, a chaos that only benefits President Obama and his failed policies.”

“So it is with this hope and trepidation that I make it clear that I will not violate the Republican Conference’s decision of November 13, 2014, and will vote for John Boehner to be Speaker.  I hope that Speaker Boehner does not disappoint me and the American people.”



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