John Culberson Reflects on Lame Duck, Core Republican Principles and the New Congress
Congressman John Culberson, U.S. Representative for Texas Congressional District 7, took a moment for TexasGOPVote before the Thanksgiving break to share his thoughts about the 112th United States Congress, which starts on January 3, and also about what to expect in the remaining days of the 111th Congress, or “lame duck” session. For the lame duck, Culberson gives a short list of near-term priorities that he hopes the Democrats will have the good judgment and grace to address before they get out of town. Culberson outlines several of the leadership roles that Republican House members, including many Texans, will be taking on in the new house and that for his role he will have the “personal joy of zeroing out czars.” Culberson says the goal is to put the federal government back into the box the founders created with the Constitution and quotes his hero Thomas Jefferson: “if you simply apply Republican principles, the knot will always untie itself.” He closed with a reference to the advice that business writer David Ramsey gives to businesses who overreach or get into too much debt: “retrench, focus on your core mission, shed any unnecessary expenses or obligations.”
“Well the democrats are busily right now trying to find enough votes to pass some of the things they couldnt get passed before the election, and I hope for the sake of the country they fail, that they are not able to find the votes to, for example, attempt to pass a monster spending bill that would have a zillion amendments in it and all kinds of terrible programs in it that this country rejected in the election. Theyre also working to – well theres obviously a tremendous amount of pressure, as there should be, on the democrats who control the congress until January the 3rd – to keep everybodys taxes the same, to stop this massive tax increase thats going to go into effect on January 1st, to help make sure that doctors dont get a 21% plus cut in their reimbursement rate from medicare patients, to make sure that the AMT, the alternative minimum tax, does not kick in for millions of Americans on January 1st . Theres a lot of important business that has to be done to protect the economy, to protect Americans pocketbooks, and we hope that the democrats will have the good judgment and the good grace to honor the will of the voters as expressed in the election and stop the tax increase January 1st, stop the AMT tax increase, and fund the government at bare minimum levels through early next year, and protect the doctors from getting their reimbursement rates cut, and otherwise get the heck out of town as soon as possible.
TexasGOPVote: Tell us about the leadership in the new session.
Well John Boehner will be the new speaker and he is a good man with a heart of gold, hes a good conservative, hes got a long record as a conservative. I served with him when I first got here in 2001; he was the chairman of the education committee, and he really is a fine person. He is fairly low key and no conservative should doubt his conservative credentials. He is really a fine person and Im confident that hell be a great speaker. Hell be the new speaker January 3rd. Eric Cantor, who is another solid good conservative, will be the new majority leader. Kevin McCarthy will be the whip and Republican leadership team is in position: Jeb Hensarling of Texas will be your, our chairman of the Republican caucus, John Carter of Texas will be our secretary. Im very hopeful and optimistic that Joe Barton will be the chairman of the energy and commerce committee. Were going to have Lamar Smith as chairman of the judiciary committee and Texans are going to be in key positions throughout the congress. Kay Granger will be a chairman of a subcommittee in appropriations, as I will... dont yet know which subcommittee...”
"Ill be a chairman of a subcommittee in appropriations and I dont know where Ill be yet, because its unclear, but I will have the personal joy of zeroing out czars, which is really going to be wonderful. No matter which subcommittee Im chairman of, Ill make sure that the Obama bureaucrats that appear before us can – theyre going to have to - identify the specific, explicit statutory authorization for any and every regulation that they issue, and if they cant show me where congress gave them the specific and explicit authority to issue the regulations theyre issuing, they get zero.
“I will have the personal joy of zeroing out czars.”
The goal is to put the federal government back into the box the founders created with the Constitution, to restore the checks and balances, the separation of powers and above all the Tenth Amendment, autonomous sovereign authority of the states, the individual freedom of “we the people” to run our lives, control our money, control our families, and, without interference from the federal government. We as a federal government are reaching a point where, the Obama administration, Pelosi, has spent so much money in so little time that were literally right on the brink, if were not careful, of seriously endangering the future prosperity of the country, so we have to dramatically cut spending. As my hero Thomas Jefferson loved to say, if you simply apply Republican principles, the knot will always untie itself, and that is so true. If we will just follow the Constitution, if we will, as Dave Ramsey advises businesses who overreach and get into too much debt, retrench, focus on your core mission, shed any unnecessary expenses or obligations. Just focus, Dave Ramsey tells them, on what you do best as a business. We in the federal government need to do the same thing – to focus on our core mission as set forth in the Constitution and shed all this extraneous stuff that weve been doing over the years that infringes on individual freedom, on state sovereignty. Apply core Republican principles and no matter what the problem is, the knot will untie itself, as Mr. Jefferson said.