Charting a New Course for Jobs and Opportunity

by Peter Roskam

The American people are suffering while a self-serving federal government tramples on the principles of liberty and opportunity that have guided our nation’s growth and prosperity since its founding.

Today, laws are commonly passed to benefit a narrow special interest rather than the national interest. Taxpayers’ money is squandered by wasteful government programs, a bloated bureaucracy, and the self-appointed elites who run it. A power-hungry executive, a gridlocked legislature and an activist judiciary have combined to shut out the voice of the American people, ignoring their concerns and input. When the government no longer serves the public interest, it is the right and the responsibility of the people to take back control and to chart a new course.

After months of engaging the American people through town halls in our communities, through online and social-media platforms and through conversations and correspondence with concerned citizens, House Republicans are announcing a new governing agenda to decisively turn the page on the failed policies and failed leadership of the past. Our “Pledge to America” looks toward a better, freer, and more prosperous America.

Unlike the myriad sideline issues that have consumed the time and energy of Washington leaders, House Republicans’ Pledge to America puts job creation and economic growth front and center. With a firm commitment to extend all current tax rates and prevent a job-killing tax hike on small businesses set to take effect on January 1, 2011, the plan will inject stability and predictability into a shaken economy, unleash frozen investments, and allow American businesses to focus their valuable time and resources on innovation and growth.

By immediately reverting to 2008 pre-bailout and pre-stimulus spending levels, our Pledge saves over $100 billion of taxpayer money in the first year alone. With permanent caps to constrain government spending and a hiring freeze for government workers, we will begin the process of ending the wasteful Washington spending our country and our economy cannot afford.

We pledge to repeal the deeply flawed health-care law and replace it with commonsense reforms that will actually lower costs. By allowing the American people to purchase insurance coverage across state lines, empowering small businesses to band together for greater bargaining power, enacting substantive medical-liability reforms, and creating new incentives to save for future health needs, our health-care policies will start to bring rising costs under control and give Americans the tools they need to access quality, affordable care.

Equally important, we commit to reforming a troubled legislative process mired in partisanship and secrecy. In place of a flawed system that breeds one-sided policies, we will work to promote dialogue, deliberation, and cooperation between both parties to produce the best solutions possible for the American people. We pledge to publish all bills online at least 72 hours before a vote and to also post alternative proposals offered by those who disagree with our ideas. We pledge to cite specific constitutional authority in each new law to ensure it aligns with the vision and wisdom of our founding framework.

By working to change both the culture and direction of our government, House Republicans’ agenda will set us on a course for job creation, economic growth and renewed trust and accountability in government. The great promise of the American system of democracy has always rested in the power of the people to shape our nation’s future. House Republicans’ Pledge to America will finally restore a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Congressman Peter Roskam represents the 6th District of Illinois and was a leading architect of the new Republican agenda.

UPDATE: NRO chats with Congressman Roskam:

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