On Nov. 3, Leader John Boehner asked Greg Walden to lead the majority transition for House Republicans, and put in place the reforms laid out in the Pledge to America to begin restoring the public trust. These reforms include:
1. Read the bill. A requirement that legislation be available online for 3 days before a vote so that members of Congress and the American people have time to understand legislation. Greg Walden was the leader behind the marquee aspect of the transparency initiative: a petition to require all pieces of legislation be accessible online for at least 72 hours for the public, press, and members of Congress to read before a vote. 182 members have supported the petition. Transparency rules have been waved at least 24 times this year alone (at least 12 of which were available for less than 24 hours). Here are a couple of noteworthy examples:
Date passed: Feb. 13, 2009
Cost: $787 billion
Length: 1,073 pages
Time to review: 12 hours
The National Energy Tax
Date passed: June 26, 2009
Cost: $846 billion
Length: 1,428 pages
Time to review: 16.5 hours
2. A requirement that all bills include a citation of constitutional authority so that Congress respects the limits imposed on it by our founding document.
3. Changes to House rules to make it harder to increase spending and easier to cut it so that we begin a new era of fiscal responsibility in Washington.
4. An end to the practice of passing "comprehensive" or "omnibus" bills that package unrelated legislation together in an effort to avoid public scrutiny.
A ban on earmarks -- a first and necessary step to rein in out-of-control spending
House Republicans, led by Greg Walden and the GOP leadership, made the commonsense decision to place a total moratorium on earmark spending projects until out-of-control federal spending is brought under control.
Protecting the government watchdogs
To ensure a robust and healthy press corps, Greg Walden strongly supports a federal shield law for reporters -- much like many states already have on the books -- that would enable reporters to protect sources and pursue investigative stories without fear of reprisal from the government officials. Sensitive national security information would be exempt from the shield law.