Pompeo, back from Washington, gives update

Yesterday Congressman-elect for the fourth district of Kansas Mike Pompeo met in his campaign office with news media for a question-and-answer session. Newly-elected members of the next Congress were in Washington last week for orientation, office selection, and leadership elections.

The current Congress resumes its session on December 6th, and the plan is to be in session for two weeks — another so-called “lame duck” session. Pompeo says that a good thing Congress could do is to extend the current tax rates — the Bush tax cuts — so that the new Congress doesn’t have to deal with this issue in January. “It makes no sense to be talking about raising taxes in today’s economic environment, so I hope they’ll do that,” he said.

There are risks that the lame duck session will pass legislation like card check and other legislation favored by liberals and Democrats. But Pompeo said that voters spoke on November 2nd, that there is a set of things that voters don’t want done, and he hopes that the current Congress will honor those wishes and not pass card check or other matters that may be brought up.

Committee membership is important to incoming members of Congress. Describing the process of committee assignment, Pompeo said there is a steering committee that includes three of the incoming freshman class, and this committee decides committee assignments. It is to this body that members make their requests for committee assignments. Pompeo mentioned three committees in particular that he is interested in joining: Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Armed Services. Energy and Commerce handles issues related to the oil and gas industry, which Pompeo has experience in. Transportation and Infrastructure covers general aviation issues, another industry in which Pompeo has experience, and one very important to Wichita.

He added that no other Kansans are on any of these committees.

On the Air Force tanker procurement, Pompeo said the decision has been delayed until spring, perhaps March. He said it is time to make a decision, and that the tanker needs to be built. But the recent disclosure of proprietary bidding information being wrongly sent to each party, even though accidental, will likely mean the decision will be protested.

Asked whether he would join the Congressional Tea Party Caucus founded by Michele Bachmann, Pompeo said he “hadn’t given much consideration” to which caucuses he would join.

Between now and January 5th Pompeo said he has two offices to open and staff, one in Wichita, and his congressional office in Washington.

Asked about the one thing he’s most eager to get working on, Pompeo said that federal government spending must be brought under control. “What we know at the end of the day is that you only can take so much money out of the private sector before you begin to destroy the entrepreneurial engine that’s made America great. And today we’re there. So we have to move it back.”

It will not be easy, he said. But he believes the other freshmen Republicans that were elected along with him are serious people, with many campaigning on the same issues that he did — a “smaller, humbler federal government that was more efficient and did the right things, and didn’t do everything.”

I mentioned several polls since the election that show that Americans are skeptical about the new Congress and its ability to change things. Pompeo said that voters are right to be skeptical, based on history. But he is optimistic. Voters were boisterous, he said, adding that “Americans have found their voice.” So if the new members of Congress don’t fulfill the promises they made, or at least begin the process, Pompeo said voters will reject this group, “and properly so,” he added.

He added that voters did not elect a Republican senate, and the president still has a deep liberal agenda: “There is still a lot of resistance to smaller government, certainly in the Senate, and absolutely in the White House.” If the House of Representatives is true to what voters asked it to do, that will set up an important election in 2012 where voters can elect a senate and president. He framed the choice: “Do we want to be more statist, or do we prefer individual responsibility and free enterprise,” adding that he is confident Americans will choose free enterprise and individual responsibility.

I asked about tension between tea party activists and establishment Republicans. Pompeo said he doesn’t see the tension between the two groups. Of people who participate in tea parties, Pompeo said these are “Americans in the deepest tradition of standing up and saying ‘No, we’re not going to let our country go away. We’re going to work our tails off to reclaim it.'”

He said that many of his incoming colleagues in the new Congress are deeply committed to the ideals of the tea party, adding that he is too. There is a “new idea” now, he said, which is really the idea that the Founders had. This idea had been lost, moved away from the forefront for thirty years, even within the Republican party: “This conservative notion of states’ rights, smaller federal government, and individual responsibility is moving back to the forefront.” People who have participated in tea party events are an important part of this, he said, and he implored them to keep up their efforts.


9 thoughts on “Pompeo, back from Washington, gives update”

  1. Pompeo seems to be caving in to the Washington power brokers already. Likely he is a neo-marxist progressive under the control of George Soros, but cleverly disguised. If he supports any taxes, ANY AT ALL, he should be tarred, feathered, stripped of his citizenship and kicked out of the United States.

  2. I am glad to read this review of Mike’s press conference. He has been very consistent in his beliefs that we need to have a smaller and less intrusive Government. Also we do not need a tax hike in January which is what will happen if the lame duck session refuses to extend the Bush tax cuts.

    I think he would have a lot to offer any of those committees he talked about.

    There is a high percentage of business owners that were elected to the new Congress. I think that we will all benefit from their private sector backgrounds. Small business generates 70% of all jobs.

  3. I agree with Chuck. It is no wonder Pompeo has not considered joining the Tea Party Caucus, he was not their candidate, Jim Anderson was. I found it very revealing that during the two televised forums/debates that neither Mike or Raj Goyle talked about the Constitution but relentlessly attacked each other. If the Republicans do not drastically DOWNSIZE the Federal Government they will be out in 2012 and probably implode as a result of it!

  4. I will judge Congessman-elect Mike Pompeo on his actions not his rehetoric. The Bush tax cuts fight to make them permanent should be first and at the same time his promise to cosponsor the Fairtax upon his being swore-in are a top priority and two developments I believe he will have the internal foretitude to pull off. If he does not get it done it will do more to cast a dim view on his motivation than any other move he can make. Are you up for it Mike? You have stated you would be as a candidate? Will you do so now that you have been elected?

  5. Thanks for the update Bob and for the questions posed. Average moms, dads and grandparents across the country drove the discussions that led to many conservative victories earlier this month providing a new majority in the House of Representatives. I appreciate our new Congressman’s candor but it is time for he and others to stop holding the Tea party at arm’s length so as not to be soiled by the connection.

    I give Mike allot of credit for vetting with the Independence Caucus which allowed many of us associated with the Tea Party to support him after the primary. Many others lacked the courage to complete the process and consequently most voters really knew little about the others they elected.

    In his own words:

    Voters were boisterous, he said, adding that “Americans have found their voice.” So if the new members of Congress don’t fulfill the promises they made, or at least begin the process, Pompeo said voters will reject this group, “and properly so,” he added.

    Of people who participate in tea parties, Pompeo said these are “Americans in the deepest tradition of standing up and saying ‘No, we’re not going to let our country go away. We’re going to work our tails off to reclaim it.’”

    He said that many of his incoming colleagues in the new Congress are deeply committed to the ideals of the tea party, adding that he is too. There is a “new idea” now, he said, which is really the idea that the Founders had. This idea had been lost, moved away from the forefront for thirty years, even within the Republican party: “This conservative notion of states’ rights, smaller federal government, and individual responsibility is moving back to the forefront.” People who have participated in tea party events are an important part of this, he said, and he implored them to keep up their efforts.

    Asked whether he would join the Congressional Tea Party Caucus founded by Michele Bachmann, Pompeo said he “hadn’t given much consideration” to which caucuses he would join.

    If we are “Americans in the deepest tradition … and he implores us to keep up our efforts” then I can hardly understand the reluctance to join the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, unless all the talk is just more political rhetoric. I truly hope that is not the case and that our new Congressman will join this important Caucus that will, with our help, shape the 2012 elections as well.

  6. We get the legislators that we deserve. Although it’s unfair to predict what Pompeo will accomplish in Congress, it disappointing (but not surprising) that he wants to serve on committees that influence the corporate interests of the aircraft manufacturers and oil & gas industry. Pompeo is obviously an intelligent guy have proven himself as a Harvard Law Review editors and a West Point graduate who served as a cavalry officer in Germany during the cold war. Given the increase in terrorism, likelihood of a major global conflict and the concerns by libertarians & Christians that “Big Brother” government will seek jsutificatons to take away more constitutional freedoms, I would think that Pompeo would be noble enough to seek a seat on the judiciary, foreign affairs or intelligence committees. This won’t happen as these cfommittees don;t affect the corproate intersts of Koch Industries. It will be interesting to see how hard Pompeo fights for a seat on the coveted Armed Services committee that would affect the Wichita aircraft industry rather than Koch Industries interests.
    As abortion politics becomes less important, Pompeo may follow the proven example of entrenched GOP congressmen who protect their incumbency by raising lots of money from special interests. It’s possible that Pompeo will be in Congress as a back bencher for many years. Unlike Tiahrt, he doesn’t have the charisma to run for a state wide office and it’s doubtful that he has the marketing or oratory skills to eventually move into a house leadership position.
    The silver lining is that GOP state legislators in the 4th district should now realize that they should risk their political capital to fight for meaningful reforms for their constitutents rather than trying to curry favor with business inersts like Koch Industries if they want to be elected to a state wide office. I predict that Americans for Prosperity & Koch Industries will become a lightening rod for Obama supporters in the naitonal media leading up to the 2012 election. If the economy continues to deteriorate & voters become even more angry at the wealty, Pompeo could be challenged by a populist maverick Democrat like Walt Chappell. The maverick strategy has seemed to work for Tim Huelskamp & Jerry Moran. Phil Journey may be sitting in traffic court saying “woulda coulda shoulda” but it’s difficult for a Republican or Democrat to go up against the entrenched political establishment in Wichita who must maintain the status quo.

  7. Hi Bill
    Jeez, at least let him catch fire before you start spitting on him. I KNOW he’s a politician (spit) and all, but give him at least 15 or 20 minutes…
    Later

  8. From Congressman Pompeo’s rhetoric is exactly the same as Koch Industry i.e., big oil. Big Oil pays lip service to the desire to end all forms of stimulus to the various energy factions, including “big oil” which after years and $billions of taxpayer stimulus are now well entrenched and unassailable w/o an evening of the “playing field”. It’s interesting to note that now that a new “player” is on the field, Koch and Pompeo now say it’s time to end all forms of stimulus. Let’s face it5 “big oil” doesn’t like competition.

  9. Congressman Pompeo’s rhetoric is exactly the same as Koch Industry, i.e., “BIG OIL”. Both pay lip service to the desire to end all forms of stimulus to the various energy factions. It’s actually amusing to see Pompeo and Koch Industry both saying we should let the marketplace decide. This “philosophy” has finally occurred to both Pompeo and Koch Ind. after oil companies have received $BILLIONS in stimulus over the years. It’s convenient that this new found philosophy is found only when a new participant (natural gas) has entered the marketplace. Of course BIG OIL doesn’t want NATURAL GAS to receive stimulus that will make it competitive in the marketplace in which it has attained such an unassailable position. Again, Pompeo and Koch Ind are speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

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