A Time for a New Style of Leadership

By: Jessie Markell

At the Leadership Institute’s monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast the featured speaker, Rep. Justin Amash, suggested we are in a new age that calls for a new style of House leadership. Mr. Amash noted that as we progress further into the Internet age the Speaker of the House cannot dictate the agenda and control his or her caucus as easily as Speakers in the past. This is because representatives can circumvent the Speaker and take their arguments and concerns directly to the people with very little effort, something that was not possible 20 or even 10 years ago.

Mr. Amash brought up the example of the recent “No Budget, No Pay” Act that recently passed through Congress and was advertised by leadership and the media as a way to encourage Congress to pass a budget. As the libertarian-republican pointed out, there still is no budget passed and the bill actually violates the 27th Amendment regarding congressional pay. “That’s not even the worse part of the bill,” he added and went on to explain the bill contained a little-noticed provision that actually increased the debt ceiling by more than $300 billion.

While Republican leadership did nothing to prevent or publicize this, Mr. Amash took to Facebook to explain to his followers what the bill actually did, garnering more than 4,000 shares. Mr. Amash felt that examples like this prove that we need new leadership in the House. In fact, when the new Congress went to re-elect the current Speaker, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Amash threw his support and vote behind the liberty-minded congressman from Idaho, Raul Labrador.

Ultimately, Mr. Boehner was re-elected to his position as speaker. Mr. Amash made it very clear that he still thinks Mr. Boehner is a very capable leader and that House leadership “could be much worse.” Mr. Amash said House leadership in the future needs to be able to work with ever increasing diversity and create a coalition of ideas, something he thinks libertarian-republicans have a natural inclination to do.

Mr. Amash, when prompted with the suggestion, said he is not calling for a grassroots campaign against Mr. Boehner’s speakership, but is merely noting the role of Speaker is changing and a member of the liberty movement would do a better job of unifying the Republican Party than a representative of the establishment.

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