ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:
The GOP’s new House majority leadership team was unveiled before cameras today, with Republicans pledging to bring reforms to Congress and thanking voters for the second-chance opportunity they provided Republicans when they swept into the majority earlier this month.
Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that voters brought the new majority into place because Americans want a Congress that “focuses on the people's priorities,” which Boehner identified as “cutting spending, creating jobs, and reforming the way Congress does its work.”
Boehner said that Republicans will work in the next session of Congress to implement proposals spelled out in the Pledge to America and they will fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government.
“Republicans are united and we're humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in us. We have the new majority and a new leadership team. But as you've heard me say before, this is not about us. It's about the American people because it's the American people who are in charge,” Boehner said. “Today, Republicans adopted an earmark ban that shows the American people that we're listening and serious about ending business as usual here in Washington, DC. We hope the president will work with us on all of these priorities.”
Boehner said he was proud of the GOP conference for its choices in yesterday’s leadership election.
“We have a team that represents the broad consensus, the broad diversity of our party, and I'm looking forward to working with them on dealing with the priorities that the American people have sent us here to deal with,” Boehner said.
Rep. Eric Cantor, who was elected House Majority Leader for the next session of Congress, said that one of the leadership’s primary areas of focus will be to reform the Congress.
“We realize that the public has given us a second chance, a golden opportunity to live up to the expectations that the voters have for this Congress and our party. We are going to be a results-driven Congress. Job one is for us to cut federal spending and to remove the uncertainty that has been hampering job creation over the last several years in this country,” Cantor, R-Virginia, said. “The incredibly large freshman class will help us affect that reform and actually change the culture of the way this place works.”
“You sit down with that freshman class, it doesn't matter what part of the country it comes from, it's clear across the country: This is more a national message that ever before,” the next Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California added. “We have heard 'em, and we are putting the team together to make sure we're able to carry out what they told us.”
Rep.-elect Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota, who was chosen along with South Carolina Rep.-elect Tim Scott, to represent the GOP freshman class at the leadership table, said that the newly elected members are “united as a class and as Republicans” to make sure that members follow through on their campaign pledge to get government under control.
“The freshman class is not just historic in size. We plan to be historic in the results that we deliver for the American people,” Noem said. “We ran campaigns that asked the American people to not just listen to what we said, but watch what we do when you elect us. We plan to deliver results.”
“It's called transparency. It's called openness,” Scott added. “Our commitment as the Republican Party is to listen to the American people. And today we start that conversation.”
Boehner was asked whether he agreed with the ethics committee’s recommendation to censure Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, for multiple violations of the House rules and whether he preferred that the House vote on the censure recommendation during the Lame Duck, or wait until the next session of Congress.
“I believe in the ethics committee process. It's the only bipartisan committee in the Congress, five members from each party. And the fact that the ethics committee has come to an agreement on a proper sanction for Mr. Rangel I wholeheartedly support,” Boehner said. “I believe that Mr. Rangel wanted a faster process than what was afforded him by the committee, and I believe that dealing with this as soon as possible is in the best interest of the institution and Mr. Rangel.”
The full House Republican Leadership team is as follows:
Speaker of the House: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
Majority Leader: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Majority Whip: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Conference Chairman: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
NRCC Chairman: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Policy Committee Chairman: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Conference Vice-Chair: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Conference Secretary: Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Freshman Representative: Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Freshman Representative: Rep.-elect Tim Scott (R-SC)
Rules Committee Representative: Rep. David Dreier (R-CA)
Chairman of the Leadership: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)