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FreedomWorks is a leading grassroots organization with over a million members fighting for lower taxes, less government and more freedom. I am writing today to offer our support for the House rules package that includes several welcomed changes designed to increase transparency and rein in government spending. The current House rules that favor big government need drastic changes.
These proposed changes to the House rules are a step in the right direction to restore fiscal responsibility and limited government. In the previous Congress, total government spending increased by 16.8 percent. With an estimated $1.3 trillion deficit in 2010 and national debt near $14 trillion, we cannot afford to continue down the same path of fiscal disaster. The House must show the American people that they are serious about curbing spending for the sake of our prosperity.
The proposed rules include important tools that will make it easier to cut excessive spending. A new requirement would ensure that representatives directly vote on transportation spending. As the rules currently stand, the House is prevented from cutting wasteful transportation projects. The rules package also includes spending reduction accounts to save taxpayers money. Under the current rules, any amendment to strike spending from a bill is transferred to other federal accounts. This proposed change would transfer this money to a spending reduction account and will prevent another member from spending these savings.
Furthermore, the rules package includes a number of provisions to increase transparency. The previous congressional session will forever be known as the closed door and backroom deal Congress. We were given little or no time to read bills that consisted of over 1,000 pages. The American people deserve better leadership. The rules package would require all bills to be made publicly available at least three days before the House or the committee votes on it.
To help ensure that all members uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution, the proposed rules will require members to cite specific constitutional authority for any bill that they introduce. Since this is a plank in the grassroots document Contract FROM America, we are encouraged to see representatives listening to their constituents. In the 111th Congress, many laws were passed without consulting the Constitution. As we all saw, a federal judge recently declaring part of the health care reform bill passed last year unconstitutional.
We believe these rules are crucial to restore freedom for the American people. At this point we know of amendments to the rules by Rep. Garrett and Rep. Jordan that would strengthen this package, which we encourage you to adopt, and one by Rep. LaTourette that would weaken it that we encourage you to oppose. I hope you will join us in supporting the rules package in its current form.
President and CEO
[Click here for a PDF version of this letter.]