Tom DeLay: The Mission Ahead
Tom DeLay is the former House Majority Leader, the second ranking leader in the United States House of Representatives. He was responsible for developing the issues and policies that formed the Republican agenda. DeLay set the legislative schedule by selecting which bills the House would consider and the timing of their consideration.
Over the course of his congressional career, DeLay has built a voting record that consistently supports limited, constitutional government, peace through strength, lower taxes, and the sanctity of life.
DeLay and his wife Christine share a deep interest in the circumstances facing abused and neglected children. They got involved with children's issues after Christine DeLay, a teacher, began volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care. Eventually, the DeLays became foster parents themselves. Today, they are outspoken advocates in favor of reforming the present foster care system by making the child's best interest the paramount concern.
Tom DeLay: The 111th Congress, they’ve got to deal with appropriations bills that they didn’t deal with in the 110th Congress, right off the bat. So, that’s going to be a real indicator as to where they’re headed, and I assume that there’ll be more spending. There’ll be tax increases.
The Ted Kennedy Agenda, as I call it, universal healthcare will get started, with the hearings and the things they need. It will take a couple of years for it to become law, but it will get started. So, healthcare will be a major part that they will be dealing with.
And the economy. You hear all around Washington DC, all this talk about more stimulus and more government interference and more investment using the Left’s word. So what that means is more “jobs programs,” more spending by the government, more welfare programs type.
So, right off the bat, it’s going to be spending taxes and investments, and they think that that will solve the economic crisis.
Tom DeLay: Well, the Republicans have got to first set out an agenda, what they’re for, who they are, and what they want, where they want to take the country, but then they have to build a coalition that can drive that.
The new paradigm of politics, as exhibited by the Democrats who, over the last 8 years, have built the most powerful, impressive coalition that I’ve ever witnessed, a coalition that can go in and be effective in campaigns and after the campaign be effective in pulling together coalitions to drive policy.
The Conservatives and the Republican Party have nothing like that. We have some good organizations, we have some good think tanks, but we don’t have communications operation, we don’t have grassroots groups like we need, we don’t have a coordinated giving like the Left has. There’s just so many different voids that need to be filled by the Republicans in their coalition in getting ready for the elections in 2010 and 2012.
Question: What’s your advice to Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid?
Tom DeLay: I’m not prone to give advice to Democrats. They don’t need my advice. If I gave them any advice at all, and I think they know this. They don’t have to get advice from Tom DeLay, but they need to go slow, methodical, and be careful that they don’t overreach.
Recorded on: November 14, 2008
The former House Majority Leader outlines his action plan for America's future.