On Tuesday, I was honored to be sworn in to the 114th Congress with the help of many people who are on this email. This first week has been a busy one. I have signed on to be an original co-sponsor of the FairTax, co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, as well as a bill to gut one of the most stifling tax increases within Obamacare.
Today, I want to speak directly to you about the vote for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
First, we had a chance to nominate a different candidate for Speaker of the House. That chance came on November 13 during our Republican Conference meeting held inside the U.S. Capitol. You can think of this Conference meeting as a party primary election where many candidates run for leadership positions and we (the Republican Conference) have an opportunity to select the person who best represents our beliefs. The problem was, no one ran against John Boehner. No one! Yet, because I pledged to fight for new leadership, I did. I was ONE of only 3 of the 247 member Republican Conference to vote against the Speaker.
This was my first vote. I kept my word and voted my conservative conscience. There have been many media reports and other folks say that people who voted for the Speaker on the Floor were afraid of getting their committees taken from them. Friends, I voted against the Speaker BEFORE I was ever even given any committee assignments. November was the time to stand up and I did so with two other Members while everyone else stood and watched.
Here is a news article that covered that first vote.
Now, lets move forward to this past Sunday morning. A challenge to the Speaker occurred by way of my colleague and longtime friend, Louie Gohmert. Louie and I share many of the same conservative values. I am so disappointed that he and other Members waited so long to get in the race and were not able to mount a proper campaign. The campaign for Speaker should have been started in August before the November Conference meeting vote, not 2 days before the vote on the Floor of the U.S. House. There was zero possibility of Louie, or any other Republican, being elected Speaker over John Boehner. Please see my statement on the vote at the conclusion of this note.
Lastly, here is an op-ed by one of my colleagues, Congressmen Mick Mulvaney, from our neighbor state South Carolina. He is a strong conservative with a lifetime Heritage rating of 90%. He makes a lot of good points that I commend to your attention.
I really appreciate your taking the time to read this email. With the bills that I have co-sponsored this week and will be introducing in the coming weeks, we have begun the process to renew America. Please continue to keep Dee Dee and I in your prayers and know that I am honored that you have chosen me to represent you in Washington.
My full statement on the vote for Speaker of the House:
I am an unabashed and unapologetic conservative who believes that our Leadership in the House of Representatives should be principled and conservative. During my campaign, I emphasized the need for strong conservative leadership in the House of Representatives.
That is precisely why when the Republican Conference met in November to elect our Leadership for the 114th Congress, I voted against nominating John Boehner to be the Republican nominee for Speaker. I was one of only 3 members out of the entire House Republican Conference to do so. Given that there are 247 Republicans in the House, I unfortunately was far outgunned.
And I was also extremely disappointed that many of my conservative colleagues did not join with me in what was our only opportunity to nominate a conservative to represent us on the House Floor against Nancy Pelosi in January. Instead, a challenge did not occur until 2 days before the election of the next Speaker of the House when gaining the 218 votes needed was simply not possible. I truly regret that a proper campaign was not waged, with the issues fully debated, which would have allowed a conservative to prevail in November.
Despite this fact, I huddled with fellow conservatives up until 10 minutes before the House was called to order on Tuesday. Without a pathway to victory, I used what leverage I had to convey my principles directly to the Speaker while receiving his assurance that he would use the strength of our Majority to advance conservative solutions. I also received assurances from other conservative Members I was engaging with that if the Speaker does not fight with us, that they would join me in replacing him this Congress.
Indeed, Tuesday’s vote was not the final verdict on the Speaker’s leadership nor was it a vote of confidence. If he does not deliver on his pledge to lead as a conservative, we will displace him.
Now, I look forward to introducing legislation to address our illegal immigration problem, protect our 2nd amendment rights, and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in federal agencies. I also look forward later this week to voting to put our nation’s veterans back to work, taking real steps toward real American energy independence, and striking a blow to the heart of Obamacare.”
President Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are getting ready to propose immigration reform, but they really intend to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. I’m absolutely opposed to amnesty. Of course, I know that my stand will bring charges of racism or being anti-Hispanic, but that's nonsense as my wife is of Hispanic heritage. In fact, her great, great, great grandfather was the first president of Argentina. Today, we have an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens living in the United States.
They have violated our borders. Violated our laws. Their presence drives up the cost of the education, health care, police and judicial services, and social services. It's an enormous burden on the American taxpayer. We must not reward illegal behavior with amnesty. The battle will be difficult; Barack Obama is the President and the Democrats have a majority in the Senate. Additionally, some Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. I want to go to Washington as your representative and fight for the future of our nation.
Here's what I believe:
We should welcome all who legally enter our nation. Our tradition is that we are a nation of immigrants, but we must not allow the pressure of illegal immigrants and their political supporters to subvert the rule of law. We must secure our borders and do so now. We must protect American sovereignty from any movement to merge us into a North American Union.
We should not provide economic benefits to illegal aliens. We should deport illegal aliens who commit felonies. We should withhold federal funds from any city or state that declares itself a sanctuary for illegal aliens. We should fine businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens.If there are no jobs - they will self deport. We should end birthright citizenship for babies born illegally in United States. As your Congressman, I'll work hard to provide the necessary leadership to address the problem of illegal aliens and to oppose amnesty to those who illegally enter our nation.
—> The tenth district of Georgia is comprised of all or parts of 25 counties with boundaries of the Central Savannah River Area to Athens and metro Atlanta. Hice replaced Congressman Paul Broun.