Speaker of the House Ryan, Boehner and Congressman Amash
A couple of days ago Congressman Amash stated during a West Michigan Town Hall meeting that the role of the Speaker of the House is to play a “nonpartisan” role focused more on the process of the House than politics.
In fact Congressman Amash stated the following at the Town Hall meeting as well as on my show:
“We can fix it, but we need either a change in direction from this speaker, or we need a new speaker”
Yesterday on my show, The Live with Renk Show, when I asked the Congressman about his remarks at that Town Hall meeting he reiterated what he said at that meeting. He believes the Speaker of the House, no matter what party that person is from, should be more concerned about moving the process of bills along, asking for amendments and then putting those bill’s to a full house vote. He went on to say, let the votes stand on their own and the Congressman or Congresswoman should then have to justify those votes to their constituents. If the constituents agree more often than not with their votes then they will re-elect them, if not they can vote them out.
The Detroit News, other Michigan news outlets as well as national news outlets portrayed those comments as the Congressman asking Speaker Ryan to either “pivot or depart”.
I asked Congressman Amash if he was in fact asking for Speaker Ryan to either be more concerned with the process of the House or quit. He relayed to me and my audience that the Detroit News and any other news outlets that were stating that he wanted Speaker Ryan to quit were taking his words out of context or reading into his words something he was not attempting to portray.
He did state that he has felt this way since he was elected into office in 2011 and saw the process first hand. In fact he pointed to an opinion piece he wrote and was published by CNN in 2015, where he stated these same concerns when the Speaker of the House was John Boehner.
In that opinion piece Congressman Amash wrote the following:
Speaker John Boehner's announced resignation from Congress marks the inevitable fall of a speakership marred by internal Republican friction, raw partisanship and loss of influence for our great institution. And the next speaker will suffer the same fate unless he or she approaches the job entirely differently.
It's not that Speaker Boehner isn't conservative enough; it's that he fundamentally misunderstands the role of speaker of the House of Representatives. The speaker's first priority must be to defend the institution on behalf of all Americans. While the speaker may have a role in policy debates, that role cannot trump his obligation to uphold House process.
I understand what Congressman Amash was conveying and in a perfect world that would be the ideal situation. The problem is we do not live in a perfect world, but should that even matter. Someone has to start calling for what is in the best interest of the American people and not the political parties.
Problem, in my humble opinion, is the Democrat Party will not attempt to live up to the true role of the Speaker of the House when they eventually win back the House. So should the Republicans?
Congressman Amash in that opinion piece also wrote:
Speaker Boehner and other Republican leaders have repeatedly favored a "govern by crisis" approach that abandons the regular order of the House. Despite having months to act before legislative deadlines, leaders routinely wait until the last moment to plot a course of action, publicly concede in advance major negotiating points, insist that Republicans have no alternatives, refuse to allow amendments and then criticize colleagues for not voting to avert the crisis leadership caused.
This approach produces constant frustration among representatives in both parties and promotes the partisan finger-pointing that angers Americans at home. Instead of making bipartisan compromises to address long-term issues, Congress constructs desperate, last-minute political deals to obtain the requisite votes simply to clear the immediate impasse.
I cannot agree more with the sentiments of Congressman Amash’s opinion piece and I have been calling for the same sentiment for years. We want the elected Congressman and Congresswoman to work on the behalf of the American people first and their party somewhere down the line. Let them vote and let the chips fall where they may, it is us the American People who are harmed in the way our government is running today.
The problem is which party is going to unilaterally disarm first.
The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595