How Will New Speaker John Boehner Run the House?

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In addition, Republicans have pledged to drastically cut government spending at a time when most Democrats think that could hurt the economy. Another looming showdown will be over the national debt which, at $13.9 trillion, is rapidly approaching the $14.3 trillion limit.

Boehner's speech included some soaring rhetoric about the United States.

"More than a country, America is an idea, and it is our job to pass on to our posterity the blessings bestowed to us," he said.

"Our aim will be to give government back to the people," Boehner said. "In seeking this goal, we will part with some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike. We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process "less efficient" than our forefathers intended

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this story

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