Friday, January 9, 2015

A message from Congressman Wittman





January 9, 2015






Mr. Robert B. Alexander, Jr.

615 Carys Chapel Rd
Yorktown, VA 23693-2509


Dear Mr. Alexander:


Thank you for contacting my office to express your views on Representative John Boehner serving as the Speaker of the House for the 114th Congress. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this issue. I value your views on the important issues facing our Commonwealth and the Nation.


As you know, prior to the official election of the Speaker in January, members of the majority party select a Speaker Designee who begins work on the legislative agenda for the new Congress. The designee assumes the official duties as Speaker when the new Congress convenes. At the beginning of each new session of the House of Representatives, Members formally elect a Speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes. Customarily, the conference of each major party nominates a candidate whose name is placed in nomination. Members normally vote for the candidate of their own party conference, but may vote for any individual, whether nominated or not. To be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of all the votes cast for individuals. On the Tuesday, January 7, 2015, Representative Boehner received 216 votes for Speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi received 164 votes, Representative Daniel Webster received 12 votes, Representative Louie Gohmert received three votes, Representative Ted Yoho received two votes, and Representative Jim Jordan received two votes. A number of other Representatives received one vote each. A total of 204 votes were needed to gain a simple majority to be elected Speaker.


I understand your concerns about Representative Boehner's ability to serve as Speaker for the 114th Congress and I would like to share with you why I cast my vote in his favor. You may be interested to know that Representative Boehner was the only candidate to put his name forward for Speaker when the Republican Conference met in November to discuss this critical, important position. None of the other candidates who received votes on the House floor put their names forward more than three business days before the vote, which did not allow for a fair, open, and honest debate. The Rules of the House of Representatives require that bills to be voted on by the House must be made available at least 72 hours before the vote- should we not ask for the same or better from those who wish to lead this body? What's more, none of the other candidates even contacted me to ask for my vote or explain to me their vision for battling executive branch overreach and passing responsible legislation to get our country back on track. Theirs were not serious campaigns for Speaker - they were merely symbolic. I have heard consistently from my constituents that they do not want me to take symbolic votes. Instead, they want meaningful action.


Since being elected to Congress, I have consistently fought for accountability from congressional leadership, demanding year after year that the House eliminate the outdated August recess and remain in session to complete the work we were elected to do. I have also consistently urged a return to regular budget order, in which a budget resolution and funding bills are passed on a regular schedule in order to provide certainty and transparency, both of which are missing when Congress funds the government using massive, irresponsible funding bills such as the one passed in December (known as the CRomnibus) that I opposed. That is why I introduced two pieces legislation on the first day the House was in session to increase accountability in congressional operations. The No Budget, No Pay Act would prohibit members of the House or Senate from receiving pay if their respective chamber does not pass a budget by April 15, 2015. The Stay on Schedule (S.O.S) resolution changes congressional procedures to prohibit the House from taking an August recess unless it has passed all regular appropriations bills by July 31. The American public has signaled time and time again that it is frustrated with Washington, and I am eager to continue my efforts to increase transparency and fix our broken budget process. Congress must return to doing business on schedule and end the current cycle of crisis management with stop-gap budget measures. These positions have not necessarily made me popular with congressional leadership, but I believe in doing what is right. The Speaker of the House takes direction from the House Republican Conference, and it is the responsibility of every member of the Conference to hold congressional leadership accountable to the people. Even if I had voted for another person John Boehner would still be Speaker of the House and it is now my responsibility to hold him and the other leadership accountable and I will do that with every ounce of energy I have.


Thank you again for sharing your views and opinions with me. I will keep your thoughts in mind as it relates to your views on Speaker Boehner. I am committed to serving you to the best of my abilities. If I can ever be of assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to call me at (202) 225-4261 or contact me online at:



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