Tuesday, January 06, 2015
John Boehner's remarks after being elected Speaker of the House
On Tuesday, John Boehner (R-OH) was elected to his 3rd term as speaker of the House.
“Friends, colleagues, and countrymen, especially the good people of Ohio’s Eighth District:
“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.
“We rejoice that our new Members and families are here. And we are glad – and humbled – to begin anew as servants in the people’s House.
“Here, it is our duty – and our privilege – to lend a willing ear to the people, make laws in tune with their priorities and within the limits of their Constitution.
“In recent months, our economy has shown signs of improvement. After difficult years, there may be a temptation to accept a new normal.
“But America did not become exceptional by ease. Far too many Americans remain out of work, and too many are working harder only to lose ground to stagnant wages and rising costs.
“We can do better, and we can build an economy that furthers better-paying jobs, more growth, and more opportunity for the nation’s middle class. This is our vital task.
“We’ll begin this endeavor on common ground – both in letter and spirit.
“It was actually my predecessor, Nicholas Longworth of Cincinnati, who changed the order of things so that all Members take the oath of office at the same time.
“He called this innovation a ‘time-saving device.’ (My kind of guy.)
“But this shared ritual is no passing formality; it is a frontier where words end and deeds begin.
“Now: the pessimists don’t see us crossing this channel.
“They say nothing will be accomplished here, that the division is wider, so the gridlock will be greater.
“That’s all fair enough. Skepticism of the government is healthy, and in our time, quite understandable.
“But one problem with saying ‘it can’t be done’ is that it already has been done – or at least started.
“In the last Congress, this House passed a number of jobs bills with broad support from the majority and the minority.
“We’ll begin our work on this common ground, taking up measures to develop more North American energy; restore the hours of middle-class workers; and help small businesses hire more of our veterans.
“Then we’ll invite the president to support and sign these bipartisan initiatives into law.
“This will be a good start – and more. It will be a sign the logjam is breaking. And it will be a foundation on which to address the bigger challenges in the pursuit of freedom and security.
“No, this work won’t be tidy. The battle of ideas never ends, and never should.
“As Speaker, all I ask – and, frankly, expect – is that we disagree without being disagreeable.
“In return, I pledge to help each of you carry out your duties. My door, of course, is always open. (Just don’t get carried away.)
“My colleagues: some treat what we do here as shadowboxing and show business.
“But let me tell you, it is work. It is a grind, as it should be in striving to preserve the things we hold dear.
“Every day you and I come out here, try to plant good seeds, cultivate the ground, take care of the pests.
“And then: with patience, some sacrifice, and God’s grace, there will be a harvest.
“Along the way, we may falter, but we Americans do not fall away from the task – we do not quit.
“So let’s stand tall and prove the skeptics wrong. Let’s make this a time of harvest.
“And may the fruits of our labors be ladders our children can use to climb to the stars.
“Thank you all, and God bless the United States of America," Boehner said.
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