REP. MICHELE BACHMANN: The Dawn of a New Congress

On November 2, 2010 the American people voted to usher in a new Congress and a new way of doing business in Washington. Under Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership the Republican minority and the American people witnessed Democrats pushing through devastating changes that affected Wall Street and Main Street. -- We saw the debt grow from $8.67 trillion to almost $14 trillion. Bills were introduced in the dark of night without the transparency that was promised.

Now a new majority is taking the reins and it’s time for action. We need to rollback Pelosi’s furthest-reaching legislation, staring with a vote next week to repeal Obamacare and its 2,000 pages of loopholes and legalese.

I will introduce a repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, which was another expansion of the federal government beyond its jurisdictional boundaries. -- It puts a wealth of control in the hands of regulators. Democrats unwisely allowed bureaucrats to become the interpreters and enforcers of the convoluted law.

The 112th Congress must lead with three main sentiments the American people have been emphasizing: One, don’t spend more than we take in; two, we’re taxed enough already; and three, Congress must adhere to the Constitution.

The Republican majority has a great opportunity to demonstrate true fiscal responsibility over the coming months as we present a new budget. Cutting member office budgets by 5% and requiring new legislation to have a “cut-as-we-go” offset is a good start. But more drastic measures will be required.

The American people see too much of their own money going to Uncle Sam. That's why I am introducing the End Tax Uncertainty Act of 2011. My bill will permanently extend current tax rates for all Americans, repeal the death tax and gift tax, and prevent a tax increase on the maximum tax rate for capital gains and dividends income for all. It will also reduce the corporate tax rate to twenty-five percent. With Japan’s announced decrease in their corporate tax rate, the U.S. will soon have the highest corporate tax rate soon if Congress doesn’t act.

It’s also time to renew our commitment to the Constitution that we are swearing today to support and defend. Like sports teams who practice their trade, so should members of Congress regularly learn about our founding documents. I will be hosting Constitutional Seminars, featuring the teachings of legal scholars like Justice Antonin Scalia. I’m inviting all members to attend, both Republicans and Democrats.

I’m also inviting my colleagues to join the Tea Party Caucus, which I formed last summer to listen to the voices of the American people. The American people elected us to represent them and we must continue to listen and truly value what they say.

The 112th Congress will be dramatically different than the preceding Congress and I have great hope it will pass legislation to undo the monstrosities produced under Nancy Pelosi. The Republican majority has much work to do, but if it continues to listen to the American people, cuts spending, taxes less, and renews our focus on the Constitution, this Congress can bring real change to Washington.

Republican Michele Bachmann represents Minnesota's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.