House Republicans Launch “America Speaking Out”

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House Republicans are today launching a new site, America Speaking Out.

The site provides a forum for a broad, public discussion of the GOP’s agenda, in a similar vein to the Administration’s Open for Questions, or the RNC’s previous effort to open its platform to broad participation.

This effort is a bit different, though. Unlike Open for Questions, it’s intended to be an ongoing, permanent forum. And, unlike many other similar efforts connected to campaigns, this is not an electoral effort, but an official site made by Republican leadership in the House. The site reflects the nature of party leadership in Congress — official, but not non-partisan, ideological, but not campaign-related.

Perhaps most interesting about this effort is the attempted balance between top-down control and bottom-up participation. Erring too far in either direction could lead to either a cacophonous free-for-all, or a list of press releases. Here’s the site’s explanatory statement, which suggests a balanced approach:

This site was developed by House Republicans as part of an official effort to increase the dialogue between Americans and their Congress. Here, Americans are provided a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda. As Republicans, we are committed to our principles of limited, more accountable government; economic freedom; lower taxes; fiscal responsibility; protecting life, American values, and the Constitution; and providing for strong national security. This is an open forum, however, where all Americans are welcome to respectfully offer their opinions, regardless of party affiliation and whether we endorse them or not. It is our hope the active engagement of the American people will produce a robust debate that will aid in the construction of a new American agenda.

Better tools for listening are in everyone’s interest, and House Republicans deserve credit for a forward looking experiment with public dialog online.

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  • DG

    Romney’s campaign is loosing steam very fast. He critically needs to address and defuse the Democrat’s attacks by clearly showing the fence sitters (undecided) the spins and distortions. This is the time to go on the offensive by using these same attacks in a turn-around to discredit the Obama campaign.

  • Joyce

    It should be very obvious to one and all that what America needs is strong Leaders with honesty and integrity. I want ALL those who choose to run for any office to know the American people have been awakened to the fact that our Government has been over run with Democrats and Republicans alike
    that have become totally corrupt and we are fed up with their greed and dishonesty. We want our old America back. We want men/women in office that are dedicated to doing that which is right for the people and not what will make them the richest the quickest! We want honest men that tell the truth and keep their word.A person who stays informed of the needs of their constituints and does their best to solve the real problems.We want shorter term limits,total transparency, and NO EARMARKS!! No more big raises for themselves while they cut our salaries and raise our taxes. They should always remember “of the people, by the people, for the people. We pay their wages and we have a right to give them instructions. When they refuse to listen, they should expect a pink slip. We’re very, very tired of crooked Lawyers and Judges running and ruining our lives. So be informed all who intend to run for any government office. We the people intend to take back our Nation. Do not expect to destroy our Constitution, take our guns and put us under Socialists or Communist control without a fight. We welcome all honest men/women who will pledge to do that which is right in the eyes of God and make this Nation the wonderful home for our children and grandchildren that we have had for the past 200 plus years. In return we pledge to give you our full support and respect. But don’t lie to us, and don’t make promises you can’t keep. We’ve had more than enough lies to last for the next 200 years. Thank you, and may the best Candidate win!!

  • Linda

    You ask us what we think, so you can campaign on it….then you do as you please once elected.

    You want us to blame the Dems for the budget deficit, yet you Reps voted for TARP. You just take turns spending and borrowing. STOP it. Cut the budget 10% across the board. If any dept can’t cut 10%, like we have to at home in a crisis, then you aren’t really trying.

    If we cut the military budget 25% we’d still spend more than all other countries combined. Bring home the troops and quit empire building.

    Don’t wall us in, instead enforce the laws. Illegal means not legal and begs to be treated as such…..and illegal is not a race. Stand up for our laws and stand up for Arizona!!

    You represent us NOT lobbyists. Quit taking what is nothing less than bribes from them. Congress was never meant to be a life long career. You are there to serve, please do so. Restore the Constitution and vote accordingly. Thank you

  • Grover Syck

    Jim Martin said:

    The way to obtain ideas from the average American is to elect a average American to Congress. A common sense approach to government would be refreshing.

    Jim, this would greatly raise the average level of intelligence of congress

  • Grover Syck

    I watched some of the clips, and read some of the comments. Some of the comments are on target. Some are too far left, but most are just far right propaganda and babble.

    For the most part, I support the Democratic agenda. What little I have seen from the RepubliCANTS, I do NOT agree with. For the most part they just screech NO.

    The Health care bill was a small step in the right direction. (Should have had a STRONG public option) The ultimate aim should be a single payer system either run by the government, or very tightly regulated. We spend more than two times the nest closest on health care, and we are umber 37 in results. Not a very good deal to me.

    The oil spill mess is the result of 30 years of REPUBLICAN deregulation. Basically, the oil companies wrote the regulations, and then ignored them.

    BP should be made to clean the mess up, and pay all losses due to the spill.

    As for the government, because of the ‘oil company regulations’ there is little the government can do to clean it up.

  • FYI: If you’re suggesting that people be murdered or assassinated your comments are being deleted here.

  • Jim Martin

    The way to obtain ideas from the average American is to elect a average American to Congress. A common sense approach to government would be refreshing.

  • Jim Martin

    I have four ideas that would improve our national security.
    1. SECURE THE BORDER
    2. SECURE THE BORDER
    3. SECURE THE BORDER
    4. SECURE THE BORDER

  • Melody

    People this is a good start if they will actually listen to us This could be a good tool. Lets give our opinions ideas and thoughts respectfully and honestly and see if they will listen.

  • John dyess

    Illegal immigration is one of great tragedies of this country. The Republicans failed to do anything about it because of pressure from companies wanting cheap labor. This kind of cheap labor exploits the poor illegal and is wrong. The Democrats failed to fix the problem because these poor exploited illegals tend to vote Democratic and helps them to convert our Repbulic into a Socialist country. Washington’s solution is to throw money and manpower at the problem. This only maintains the status quo and doesn’t really address the problem. Please stop the hiprocy and build a boundry barrier.

  • janet Durfey

    The Republicans SAY that they want to listen to us and SAY they are going to make a change, but it never goes any further then talk. Where is the action??
    Why do you have this site?? I agree with all of the above. This whole goverment is corupt. I think we need to start over and elect new people like the every day JOE who is tired of the coruption and the robery of us Americans. I am sorry John but you and your BUDDYS have got to get a life.

  • Sharon Herborn

    A good place to start would be that before any new bill is drafted there needs to be some reference to where it is supported in the Constitution. If nothing can be pointed to – then don’t draft it, drop it. Also, before any new government programs are mandated and are put in place, how about allowing the people to vote on it. After all it is OUR MONEY! People need to stand up and take care of themselves and their families and get the government out of our daily lives. The American people are getting down right sick and tired of the Federal Government telling us we can’t eat certain foods, you can’t smoke, how we should be taking care of our children, how we can use our own land, who can have water rights and who can’t, etc……..
    This is a good start, now we will see what happens. Check out the You Cut site! The average person knows what needs to go and what needs to stay as far as programs go. Lots of the programs overlap, waste & abuse.

  • I would say Republicans should distance themselves from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are poison to small business and especially within the U.S.

    I became a conservative while serving in Vietnam. While in the Military Intelligence Corps I was trained as an Intelligence Analyst, Interrogator and was a decorated Interrogator of over hundreds of POW’s, Defectors, NVA, Viet Cong, and Detainees. The highest ranking Officer I interrogated was an NVA Captain while on a mission with the Fifth Special Forces in Vietnam providing valuable comprehensive and spot interrogation and intelligence reports to battlefield commanders during filed operations and at Corps level OB analysts for G2 briefings. Prior to leaving Vietnam, a letter of recommendation to become an Interrogation Instructor was directed by the 219th MI Detachment Commander, Colonel, Peter Wolkonski through II Field Force Commanding General too the MI School Commandant Richard S. Smith Colonel, MI Fort Holabird where I taught The Art of Interrogation at the Army Intelligence Training School Fort Holabird, Maryland for eighteen months.

    As a side note, after ETS from Army Intelligence, I went to a Troop Location at the PA State Police and tried to apply for a job with them. However, at the time they told me they could not give me an application for employment, as they had a height restriction, and since I was 5 feet 5 inches I was too short and denied employment, even as an Interrogator. I called the Philadelphia branch of the ACLU to see if I had any rights. They would not hear my case, claim, or cause because I was white. However, two years later a short African American male tried entering the PA State Police and was denied, as he was too short. And with the help of the ACLU they objected to his denied employment, and through their legal action the law was challenged and changed, as I was latter informed.
    That was also around the same time the Congress was objecting supporting of Intelligence Operations, cutting their budget and the like. This was the start of leaving a big whole in Security and the Protection of the USA, Constituents.

    After a successful carrier as a Safety, Health, and Environmental Professional, in 1989 I opened up a Safety, Health, and Environmental consulting company Global Loss Control, Inc. (Associates) in 1989. At the time OSHA was going through some growing pains and lots of controversy. In 1980 and 1989 while working as the Property Conservation, and Risk and Environmental Manager for a major Allentown Corporation the company was awarded the first Five Star award in the world for Safety, Health and Environmental Program Management Excellence by the International Loss Control Institute and Frank E. Bird, Jr. now DNV. Also, Mr. Jim Stanley who at the time managed the newly developed OSHA VPP program in Philadelphia had called me and requested the company become a VPP company due to our success in safety, health, and environmental program management excellence. At the time I brought the request to the company president, who organizationally I had a dotted line with, he took the request to the legal department and they declined Mr. Stanley’s request. The attorney’s were concerned with OSHA’s intent, and their system was not proven at the time. A few years later our parent company made an acquisition review and looked at buying the International Loss Control Institute (ILCI) and their highly desired International Safety Rating Auditing System which at the time had about 3,000 member companies worldwide, and of which I was consider an expert in. Later I became a sub-contract auditor for ILCI performing on and off shore oil and gas drilling, refining and processing, open pit mining, marine, and general industry auditing throughout the US, Canada, UK and Egypt until they were purchased by DNV of the Netherlands.

    As an unbiased Licensed Accredited Safety and Loss Control program management auditor over the past 15 years I have objected to OSHA’s way of doing the VPP program and trying to enforce compliance at the same time. When it comes to compliance, enforcement must be separated and there can be no backroom contracts or deals, as they only water down enforcement of substandard practices and conditions when they need to be complied with by workers and companies in preventing explosions, fatalities, and disabling injuries. While in the VPP program companies and their employees can get a false sense of safety if the program becomes lax and not effective and enforcement is not adhered to in a timely manner. We are talking here about the safety and health of workers, the workplace, their jobs, and the community they exist within.

    Also, I would like to know why conservatives support the Chamber of Commerce in their fighting OSHA on safety initiatives when more and more companies are having more and more fires and explosions killing and disabling more employees leaving their families at peril. Companies have had forty years to comply with minimum safety guidelines as required by OSHA. You may or may not know that depending on the year between 5,000 and 10,000 employees are fatally injured plus, hundred’s of thousand are injured and or disabled annually in the U.S. from work related Illness and Injuries. This is a travesty of untold proportions. The Chamber, I am sure means well but as an expert in matters of Liability, Safety and Loss Control, they may have become liable for their insistent actions against work place safety and health, as an association. They try and resist or block nearly everything regarding safety and health in the workplace that is proposed and through these actions may have blood on their hands of U.S. workers. Their leadership apparently lacks the genuine understanding and capacity of what it takes to manage a well run safety, health, and environmental management systems, one that increases morale, profitability, quality, reliability, and reduces injures illnesses, damage, and the community they exist within.

    1989 was my first year I was a member of the local Chamber and was a member at various time years in the past. Back then I wrote to the chamber and asked them if I could perform some safety presentation for them in Harrisburg, PA. At the time they did not have any full time safety training. However, within a few months and years after that request I found they were starting to send me and other member’s advisories that they were offering safety training for their members in PA.
    From their own website the Chamber espouses: As the voice of business, the Chamber’s core purpose is to fight for free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion, and governments around the world.

    However, back in 1989 they started on a roll that helped destroy safety and health consulting with business like mine and they started their own safety training courses or supported someone they wanted to support other than Global Loss Control, Inc. and of course they are a non-profit – and you call this free enterprise?

    They should have been looking at OSHAVPP and how it would impact their member businesses that were in the safety and health consulting business and fighting against
    OSHA Federal and State monies going towards free State run safety consulting for businesses. Isn’t funny that there are not other Governmental Department programs for business such as: FREE Legal, free Medical, free Accounting, free Engineering, free Purchasing, free HR, free Quality, free Insurance, free Fleet and Transportation, free Maintenance, free Warehousing, free Dental, free Eye Care, free Clothing, free Supplies, free delivery, for business but there is free safety in the work place. That is a crime in this free enterprise country of untold proportions. This kind of lie the Chamber is selling is very upsetting to someone who was in small business for many years.

    Dominic, J. Brignola, F.A.C.F.E., C.S.E., A.S.A.
    Safety and Loss Control Professional

  • Carol B.

    U. S. must stop being the path of least resistance.
    If all the human energy that pro-illegal immigrant activists use to browbeat U. S. tax payers into supporting them was focused on corrupt wealthy elites and government bureaucrats in their native nations, they would not have to divide their families and leave their countries. U. S. legal residents and citizens must stop being the “path of least resistance” to political corruption and human exploitation.
    “White guilt” and the mantra of Social Justice–opposed to EQUAL JUSTICE–have been used to promote the looting of the U. S. federal and state treasuries by foreign invasions of illegal immigrants and residents below the poverty level. Illegal immigrant women, their U. S. citizen children, and immigrant college students are some of the pawns used in deadly and costly political scams. Low and middle income Americans are hit hardest when mortgage bubbles and political energy fuel deprivations cause huge transportation and food price increases and lost homes! In combination with promises that are impossible to pay for, poor people are encouraged, even bribed, to come into the U. S. for welfare, health care and education for their children. Resulting economic instability and green energy profiteering further enrich and empower cynical elites worldwide.

  • Jim Martin

    The answer to most of the problems in this country is to ENFORCE THE PRESENT LAWS. Let’s try that first and work from there.

  • Jim Martin

    Are you kidding? “America Speaking Out” The people reading these comments are exactly the ones we want to vote out of office. I can’t imagine anything you would have to say would change my opinion of you.And by the way, that goes double for the Democrats.

  • Jim Martin

    When was the last time you actually had a conversation, and I don’t mean a town hall meeting, with one of your constituents? We pay your salary, which you find time to raise every time you get a chance, but when it comes to listening to an average taxpaying American citizen you leave that up to one of your staff. Your arrogance is noticed and will be voted on election day.

  • Bob

    Call me the cynic but I just see this site as 1) an email list builder, and 2) it sets the stage for a GOP platform emerging toward November to be “aligned with the people”. It will help ground and build their message. The GOP is scared and is doing whatever it can to be perceived as less-elitist and less-establishment. We’ll see what happens when the Paultards vote a bunch of crazy issues to the top. I don’t see any serious listening or interacting happening here though.

  • Jim Martin

    Well, Well, Well,
    Now that you have realized that your jobs made be in jeopardy, now it’s time to listen to the people. Three cheers for the independent voter.

  • Susan P.

    Where is the President in helping fix the oil spill? Is he waiting for BP to fix it on its own and then punish BP for having the accident? It looks like it to me. Maybe we should blame the oil spill on Bush, as Obama is still trying to do with everything. Every resource should be used to stop the spill. Not sure what congress can do, but this is an emergency.

  • Chris Richards

    America Speaking Out is a good idea. So I’m speaking out about Scott Brown who seems to be another Republican in name only. Very disappointing.

    Just returned last week from the NRA Convention in Charlotte. A lot of great Americans not afraid of speaking out and supporting our 2nd Amendment rights. Remember the 2nd Amendment was America’s first homeland security.

  • GORDON BAILEY

    speaqking out about what ?? the GOP must share the blame of this mess we are in with the demos — fist u put george bush in office and he wants to show the world that USA can whip the world in two weeks and starts a war in iraq that is still in progress — then when u have a chance to correct it u run an idiot john mccain that is another war war guy — then when george is ready to leave office he starts bailing out a bunch of has been business and this naturally carries over to the ne pres and new congress both of which a communist inspired and will not be out done by a bunch of repuiblicans so they show they can out spend everybody and also will show the world how good ole politicians can build cars and make alot of money — and as far as i can see me and otheres that must work for out livings will soon be slaves to the social commie gov’t we have so long and much dispised —

  • Elle Daniel

    I concur that every Congressman or woman should be required to read every bill from top to bottom before voting on it. How many “everyday Joes” could get paid for failing to do their job? It is preposterous to think that a person could make a rational decision on how to vote without knowing exactly what it is on which they’re voting. It is also my opinion that earmarks should be completely eliminated. It is wrong to basically barter back & forth with a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” philisophy. Write the bill in a forthcoming way, stick to one subject, & get your job done.

  • David Gilbert

    Any member of congress that votes on a bill that he has not read should be kicked out of office the next day. When we vote in any candidate our expectations are that that person is representing the will of the people who voted them into office. If we can not write a bill that can be read and understood by 100% of the members who vote then the bill is flawed and the members who vote without reading it are frauds and should be treated as such.