Rep. Mike Pence…

By January 31, 2006General

Mike Pence is here (IN-6), he’s the Chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC).

The RSC retreat, just completed in Baltimore, heard from Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, George Will, and all the candidates for Majority Leader. Heard from Chuck Colson. We had about 60 members there. Sponsored by Heritage Foundation. Very broad agreement on the priority of budget reform. I expect you’ll see a document next week form the RSC. We will reveal our agenda on fiscal discipline. This will be completed a week from tomorrow.

From member discussions, the issues were budget reform, marriage amendment and lobbying reform, in that order.

[Pence described this retreat facetiously as “Intellectual roughage.”] Phil Gramm challenged members to think about what their legacy would be. Newt challenged our group on war policy and challenged Congress to engage in much more aggressive oversight of the executive branch. Congress ought to be about the business of asking the hard questions.

On lobby reform, there was broad consensus that we need to marry fiscal and ethics reform. It is not enough that we change the way lobbyists spend their money. We need to change the way we spend the money of the American people. It’s all linked to an “opaque” system of budgeting. We should repeal the Budget act of 1974 and re-write it in a way that shows the American people how their money is spent.