We have an opportunity right now to really shake up Washington. At dinner tables around the country, folks are wondering if things are going to get better and if their children will ever be able to achieve The American Dream. Making ends meet has gotten harder and confidence in government has plummeted. Over the coming weeks, the United States House of Representatives has the opportunity to elect a new leader that will help give Americans the efficient, effective, and accountable government they deserve.

Speaker John Boehner announced his retirement as Speaker of the House last month and as members of Congress consider who should fill the role third in line to the president, some requirements are clear. We need a Speaker who understands that changes must be made to how Congress runs. We need legislation that reflects the will of the people and moves America toward an opportunity economy that rewards hard work.

It’s time for a new generation of leadership. I will support someone who shares our conservative values and is committed to making the government work for the people, not against them. The next Speaker must work to protect rural America from overregulation and government meddling. They must force our federal government to tighten its belt, balance the books, and make government live within its means. We must use the power of the purse to fund America’s priorities.

The time is overdue for the Senate to also take action. The upper chamber should examine its rules of procedure and look for opportunities to advance our conservative legislation that stands up for hardworking Americans. Senate rules must allow for an up or down vote on bills that would put thousands of Americans back to work – bills that have already been approved by the House. Our conservative legislation must find its way to the president’s desk.

America has given Congress a mandate to advance conservative legislation that reflects the will of the people; it’s time to govern like it.

Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit

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